New York 2011: Nougatine at Jean-Georges

11 Jan

Nougatine was a surprise favourite. Being away from home and walking 8+ hours a day through tourist-ridden Manhattan triggers the lizardy part of my brain to crave humble, hearty home cooking. So Nougatine, being the swanky affair that it was, was not initially very appealing to the cranky, weary traveller in me. Once the actual food made an appearance however, Nougatine quickly became one of the highlights of the trip for me. It’s a strange fusion of classic french cuisine and rustic french cooking that’s elegant and comforting at the same time.

Jean George is the genius behind every fried appetizer lover’s dream–fried calamari with basil salt, citrus-chilli dip. Amazing crunch that doesn’t at all sacrifice the tenderness of the calamari nestled inside. Then again, rubbery calamari is probably the last thing one would expect from Jean George, even if Nougatine is the smaller storefront attached to Jean George proper, the actual restaurant that is astronomically more expensive.

Slowly cooked beef tenderloin, miso butter and roasted Brussels sprouts.

Sautéed red snapper, spaghetti squash, sesame broth and chili oil

Spiced pear clafouti hazelnut crunch, roasted almond ice cream

Warm apple crumble tart granny smith sorbet, date puree

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