The crown-jewel restaurant of a crown-jewel Trump hotel, Jean-Georges reigns supreme over the Central Park dining scene. The restaurant's separate entrance can be something of a whirlwind as guests must pass through buzzing Nougatine to arrive at this refined silver-gray dining room. Still, those immense windows, columns, and twinkling views make it a very special place. On weekdays, the feel is formal and business-driven, while weekends hum with tourists, socialites, and an easier vibe. The highly professional staff is one well-oiled and smooth machine. To dine here for the first time is to be blown away by brilliance; to come again and again is to realize that certain elements of the cooking flaunt more of a patina than a shine. Yet even certain menu classics continue to earn new accolades, especially the ever-memorable foie gras brûlée with dried sour cherries, pistachios, white Port gelée, and a spiced fig jam that leaves you weak in the knees. Desserts venture to rise above the savory dishes in theme and harmony. Grand finales include an homage to chocolate with hazelnut chocolate mille-feuille, chocolate pudding tart, and chocolate sable. Lunch is a superb option for those who don't want to break the bank.
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