Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The St. Regis Hotel's J&G Grill is just great

We had planned to head out to a local BBQ place Sunday, but since the hotel pool was closed and I complained, we ended up with free dinner in the hotel.
I normally avoid most Jean Georges places, but this one run by Mexican-French chef Olivier Desboise Mendez turned out to be a hit.
We sat outdoors overlooking the Paseo de la Reforma and the only thing I have to complian about is the sad brown placemat on the beautiful wooden tables and the not so comfy wooden chairs.
Our server Alejandro was super helpful and brought us way more than we wanted when we asked to try things.
A yummy mini-taquito of octopus, avocado puree and Serrano started us off as an amuse. Will started with an excellent Grilled Black Pepper Octopus with Sweet Onions & Lime, that he said should have been warmer, but I understand the just over room temp logic. Samuel made his Pumpkin Soup with Corn Truffle & Amaranth disappear in what seemed seconds, and I adored my Kale Salad with Lemon, Serrano Chiles and a hint of mint...you couldn't taste the mint, which was fine by me. The kale was marinated a bit for softness and the chiles had just the right bite.
For main courses, Samuel did a second disappearing act with the Veal Milanese which he had French fries added to, Will hit the jackpot with the Braised Beef Short ribs and Apple Jalapeno Jam which was like a smoky liqueur glaze, while I adored my Paqueta or Pacific Grouper with lemon zest & olive oil grilled to perfection with grilled nopales (cactus) as well as charred snow peas and regular peas; the veggies here were amazing. The night before we had tried to inquire what esquites were and got nowhere, but Alejandro explained it was a corn soup with mayo and quickly brought a portion, which we fell in love with. Simply put it is a corn broth with corn, avocado & mayo for thickening, lemon, chiles and a radish garnish; sounds weird but tastes great.
We loved the "Don Luis" 201 Viognier from L.A.Cetto in Baja which was acidic yet creamy and worked with everything, although Will had a glass of red with his beef, which was oddly USA Columbia Valley Cab.
We tired and liked the acidity of a Late Harvest Casa Madero 2014 Cosecha Tardia from Valle de Parras made of 95%Semillon & 5%Gewurtz, but it was oddly served in a large water glass.
Samuel devoured his Warm Chocolate Cake but left the Vanilla Ice Cream, while Will & I split the most amazing Sweet Corn Cake with Cajeta(caramel) Sauce, popcorn and Mezcal Ice Cream, to which Will commented "there's alcohol in this."
We left promising never to poopoo hotel food or a JG establishment again.