In July, we were visiting New York City to see our local girl make good. Laura Osnes, our neighbor, is staring as Sandy in Grease on Broadway. Laura won the part on the TV series “You’re The One That I Want”, and we brought three of our kids to see her make her Broadway debut. Laura had been their drama camp counselor for a number of years, and is so talented, that we just had to make the trip to see her shine. Our good friends, the Parhams were also fans, and came along for a fun filled weekend.
Laura with Tommy, Gabrielle and Victoria at the stage door!
Saturday was Barbie’s birthday, so we needed an amazing restaurant to celebrate. Tom and I knew exactly were to go. At eight o’clock that evening, the Richmonds and the Parhams were joined by the Steckleys at the corner table at Jean-Georges.
Keelan and Barbie Parham, Ed and Heather Steckley, Anna and Tom Richmond
Jean-Georges Vongerichten is a world renowned chef with many restaurants in New York and around the country. He recently opened the Chambers Kitchen in Minneapolis, were Tom and I dined with several friends for his birthday. Chef Vongerichten has one brilliant philosophy on food: create clean flavors that compliment and never overpower each other.
Jean-Georges offers two tasting menus along side it’s traditional menu. The Jean-Georges Tasting Menu never changes and is an assortment of his signature dished. The Summer Tasting Menu is composed with seasonally available products. Both are seven courses, and wine pairing is available. We did the wine pairings, but I forgot to get the list from the server, so I can’t tell you what they were. I can tell you that they were matched superbly and we enjoyed them greatly. It really added to the experience of the meal.
*( all the amazing looking dishes were served on stark white plates, unfortunately, some of the pictures are a little blurry, especially when red was the dominate color on the plate. The camera locked onto the white. Believe me, they are gorgeous in person.)
To get the most out of it, Tom and I each tried different menus. Tom went with Chef Vongerichten’s assortment of signature dished, and I went for the seasonal fare. When our wonderful server heard us talking about Tom and Barbie’s love of Foie Gras, he suggested adding an eighth course of Foie Gras Brule, Slowly Roasted Strawberries and Aged Balsamic, add on we did.
After a champagne toast to Barbie’s birthday, and good friends, we enjoyed an amuse bouch sent out to tempt our palettes. Shrimp Toast, Chilled Green Tomato Gazpacho, a Sake Infused Candied Cherry, and a Baby Radish. Four different bites, that went nicely together.
The Amuse Bouch
Our first courses both centered on caviar. Tom had the beautiful Egg Caviar, a dish that graces the cover of one of the Chef Vongerichten’s cook books. The dish is served in a brown hen’s egg set in coarse salt. A slightly scrambled egg is layered with a dollop of vodka infused whipped cream and topped with American Sturgeon Caviar. I loved it. The textures in your mouth were very elegant. Tom made quick work of it.
The Beautiful Egg Caviar
I had Egg Toast, Caviar and Dill. A slow cooked egg yolk is served between slices of brioche topped with Sturgeon caviar and fresh dill. I have never been one to order caviar, but this was bursting with the flavors and mix of textures. I really enjoyed it.
Egg Toast, Caviar and Dill
Next up on the signature menu, Sea Scallops, Caramelized Cauliflower, Caper-Raisin Emulsion. Not only was this beautiful, the scallops were done perfectly, and the sauce was just right.
Sea Scallops, Caramelized Cauliflower, Caper-Raisin Emulsion
On the summer menu, I enjoyed the Hamachi Sashimi, Opal Basil, Pickled Cherry Tomato. This dish was hot! My eyes watered and my nose ran, but I couldn’t stop eating it. It also had a sweet and sour thing going on. This was a very memorable dish, nicely done.
Hamachi Sashimi, Opal Basil, Pickled Cherry Tomato
We had our added course next, the Foie Gras Brule, Slowly Roasted Strawberries, with Aged Balsamic. Tom and I have had Foie Gras Creme Brule in Paris, but this was a first for the others. It was very sweet and creamy. I liked the tang the balsamic gave it, just enough to cut the richness. Tom and Barbie were very happy with their extra little treat.
Foie Gras Brule, Slowly Roasted Strawberries, Aged Balsalmic
I think my next taste was my favorite. I had Green Asparagus With Morels, Asparagus Jus. This asparagus was done perfectly and the morals in the creamy sauce were sooo good. Yum!
Green Asparagus With Morels, Asparagus Jus
Tom had the Young Garlic Soup With Thyme, Sauteed Frog Legs. I like frog legs and they were good. The soup was full of garlic flavor, as the name implies. Very enjoyable.
Young Garlic Soup With Thyme, Sauteed Frog Legs
Next came the Turbot With Chateau Chalon Sauce for Tom and I had the Seared Sea Trout, Marinated Watermelon, Paprika and Lime. The Sea Trout looked and tasted like salmon to me. I am not a salmon fan. Luckily for me, Tom likes salmon and will always swap dishes with me. I loved the white, moist Turbot and the sauce was lovely. Tom liked the trout and watermelon.
Seared Sea Trout, Marinated Watermelon, Paprika And Lime
Turbot With Chateau Chalon Sauce
The lobster courses were next. I have an issue with lobster. I love the taste, but it makes me ill, so the good people at Jean-Georges were very nice to accommodate me. Instead of the Maine Lobster, Grilled Corn Gnocchi, Sweet Garlic Nage, Jalapeno-Parsley Relish,which Keelan had and loved, I had the Red Snapper Crusted with Nuts and Seeds, Sweet and Sour Jus.What a wonderful substitute. Moist and tasty. The small bites of fruit added a bit of sweet.
Maine Lobster, Grilled Corn Gnocci, Sweet Garlic Nage, Jalapeno-Parsley Relish
Black Sea Bass Crusted With Nuts And Seeds, Sweet And Sour Jus
Tom’s Lobster Tartine, Lemongrass and Fenugreek Broth, with Pea Shoots was a winner also. I did not taste this, but it disappeared very quickly.
Lobster Yartine, Lemongrass and Fenugreek Broth, Pea Shoots
The end of this wonderful meal came with Broiled Squab, Onion Compote, Corn Pancake with Foie Gras for Tom. He loved it. The Foie Gras was his perfect ending.
Broiled Squab, Onion Compote, Corn Pancake With Foie Gras
I had the Rack of Lamb with Thai Pepper and Mint, Sweet Pea Puree. The lamb was done to a perfect medium rare and the pepper and mint sauce was a great pairing. Very delicious.
Rack of Lamb With Thai Pepper And Mint, Sweet Pea Puree
We all had different desserts. They were all amazing. The wait staff even brought out a little birthday treat for Barbie.
Happy Birthday Barbie!
What an amazing night in an amazing city. Here’s to Great food and Great friends… Cheers!