1 Central Park West,

New York, NY 10023

+1 (212) 299-3900

Jean-Georges has become one of my favorite places in New York for lunch. Two recent meals were simply extraordinary. The cuisine, service and ambience all live up to Jean-George’s status as one of a handful of restaurants in New York with three Michelin stars. Even better, the two-course prix-fixe at $29 is one of the very best deals readers are likely to find in the City.

Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s cuisine is defined by bright, focused flavors that are intense but never heavy. The smallest details are given an excruciating amount of detail. Perhaps not surprisingly, Vongerichten has been present in the dining room two out of the last three times I have eaten in his high-end Manhattan restaurants, including a delicious lunch at the newly re-opened Mark Hotel. The hamachi sashimi was delicate and beautifully seasoned, while the shaved pecans added unusual dimensions of texture and flavor. The combination worked beautifully. The polenta gnocchi with lemon and black truffle was adventurous but didn’t fully come together for my taste. The slowly cooked cod with black beans, sake, cilantro and ginger was superb. Everything about this dish was flawless, as the presentation, seasoning and cooking of the fish itself were all executed brilliantly.

Wine Director Bernie Sun oversees an extensive wine list. Although the vast majority of highly-desirable wines are expensive, there are some deals to be found. Trimbach’s 2002 Riesling Frederic Emile was particularly generous, and worked wonders with our first courses. The wine’s trademark laser-like focus was in full evidence, but in 2002 the wine revealed and extra dimension of fatness that provided a wonderful foil for the acidity and minerality in the food. The 2001 Pernand-Vergelesses Ile des Vergelesses from Domaine Chandon de Briailles was also quite beautiful. Already rather forward, the wine offered up sweet scents of pipe tobacco, licorice, dried red cherries and herbs. I thought the wine might be a touch forward for our main courses, but instead it was gorgeous. This mid-weight red Burgundy impressed for its sense of poise and balance. Although it is not a pairing I would have thought of, the wine was utterly delicious alongside the cod, despite the presence of a number of bold flavors in that dish.


Hamachi Sashimi, Sherry Vinaigrette, Shaved Pecans

Polenta Gnocchi with Lemon and Black Truffles

Slowly cooked cod, aromatic black beans, sake, cilantro, ginger


2002   Trimbach Riesling Frederic Emile   92

2001   Domaine Chandon de Briailles Pernand-Vergelesses Ile des Vergelesses

[Photo and credit: Jean-Georges, New York]

--Antonio Galloni