Saturday, August 9, 2014

Jean-Georges and Tater

It's been almost a month since my last post, and I feel like a very non-prolific blogger.  How could this happen?  Laziness mostly... and travel... and then catching up with household chores after travel...but mostly laziness.  (This was supposed to be a post on Axel Vervoordt, but he will have to wait till next time, besides everyone knows how wonderful he is.  However, to complete my design cycle, his design and my love of it will appear next post.)

Now to where I've traveled -  to my grandchildren's new home.  One grandson was visiting Mommy's relatives in Colorado, and one stayed at their new home with Daddy and me.  Ted (Tater) and I had a very good time.  We did a little light reading...

and got into cupboards Mommy never lets me get I look a little guilty?

I chose a different cupboard the next day, but hey Ama lets me, and Mommy is in Colorado.

But now to a very special treat.  My son asked if I had heard of Jean-Georges who opened a new restaurant nearby.  Of course I had and my treat was dinner at this new nearby restaurant.  Not being Ted-approved territory - he had a sitter for the evening.  Everyone said I was going to love it and everyone was positively correct.  On my return home, I did lots of research on Jean Georges - his restaurants, his family, his home near my son's home.   Doesn't he look like such a nice man?

Originally from Alsace Lorraine where he trained as a chef, he was sent to Asia furthering his skills and then moved to the US where his restaurants have become world famous.

The following images are of the Mercato, his restaurant in Shanghai.

And the following are from his Mercer Kitchen in the Mercer Hotel in NYC-  definitely one of my future destinations.  First image is the hotel; the following are the restaurant's images.

The following images are from the Inn at Pound Ridge, NY which was my treat.  As soon as I walked in, I knew I was going to love it just as my son and daughter-in-law knew I would.  We sat at the corner table to the left.  The lighting and the woodwork here seem a bit like the Mercer's, but the wood is lighter and the whole restaurant reminded me a bit of the Belgian design I love and Axel Vervoordt who started it all.

This was my view throughout dinner - loved how the shaded light fixtures were mixed with the metal ones, the metal curtain rod across the entire wall, the  neutral colors, the center fire place, the floor and ceiling - I was in love.  It was such a treat.  And do you see what I mean about its Belgian-esque feeling?

And the wait staff could not have been more efficient, informative, or just plain nicer.

One of the smaller, private dining rooms with wood and stone walls, candles, and beautifully simple table setting.

We had an after-dinner drink in the downstairs bar mostly to enjoy its decor.

Downstairs dining room.

Downstairs waiting area.  The designer for the restaurant was Thomas Juul-Hansen.  I haven't even mentioned the food yet - all field to table.  More about that in a bit.

His ABC restaurant in Union Square, NY with that same warm wood feeling as Pound Ridge, but with more concrete, less stone.

Let's talk a bit about tablescapes.  I love to observe how great restaurants set their table - Jean-Georges's were rugged and elegantly simple.

Now to the food itself - every morsel that entered my mouth that evening was delicious from the calamari, to the halibut to the apple cobbler, and my son felt the same way about his lamb chops.  And the gin and tonics were perfection.

The following images are of food prepared in his various restaurants most of which is farm to table fresh.

While browsing on the internet about Jean-Georges and his restaurants, I thought I'd try to discover what his home kitchen might look like - after all remember my blog's title.  I found the living room of his apartment in NYC but no kitchen info.

In his home near Pound Ridge, I had better luck.

The chef with his wife Marya and daughter Chloe in their country home.

Wouldn't you love to cook for family and friends in this kitchen?  Our waiter at Pound Ridge said Jean-Georges worked in the restaurant's kitchen often and many of the staff had been invited to his home.  What a nice guy!

The nice guy, himself, working in his home kitchen.  Beautiful stone fireplace.

When not cooking in his country home, he keeps bees and tends a small garden.

When I returned home, thoughts of my special treat and special grandson kept resurfacing.  I knew I had to own one of Jean-Georges's cookbooks and purchased this one.
When I should have been blogging, I've been perusing recipes trying to find my first Jean-Georges dinner.  I'll let you know how it turns out and promise to be a more frequent blogger-buddy and to focus on Axel Vervoordt next time even though number one grandson is coming toward the end of August.

Enjoy your summer days and summer nights.