Nougatine is Jean Georges restaurant located in the Trump International Hotel and Tower. I have now had several meals here with my most recent during restaurant week in which I sampled the prix-fix menu that was $24 for a three course lunch before tax and tip. There is a lovely patio that they open in the summer that offers great outdoor dining, always a plus in my book.
Having been to many, many Jean Georges restaurants, I am rarely impressed by his cuisine. The inventiveness of his dishes, hardly ever surprises me and in fact usually does the opposite, disappoints. He his a very highly regarded chefs and now has over 15 restaurants all over the world, yet many of his dishes I find under-seasoned and underwhelming. He does use good ingredients, which I of course appreciate, but when paying top dollar for food, the food should be better than what he puts out. This past lunch was no different really. Many of the dishes on the menu sounded really appetizing: pan roasted pink cod with artichokes, peas and vinaigrette, Sweet Pea soup with a homemade croutons. I decided on the tuna tartare with avocado and ginger vinaigrette for my starter and the organic chicken with ricotta gnocchi, asparagus and mushrooms for the main. The tartare was simple and solid.
It was a good starter and I thought for a second that maybe I was really going to like the food in the rest of the meal as well. I was wrong. The chicken came out and was unfortunately fried (which you never should need to do to a really good quality chicken), the gnocchi was rather bland and the asparagus undercooked and the mushrooms under-seasoned.
For dessert I had the vanilla cake with strawberry salad and red wine sorbet. The sorbet was refreshing but sweeter than I expected. The two pieces of vanilla meringue added a nice crunch to the dessert yet it wasn't amazing. I have yet to go to a Jean Georges restaurant that I would recommend…I feel like you can almost always find something better.
Nougatine 1 Central Park West New York (212) 299-3900