Considered among the high echelon of New York City's finest chefs Jean-Georges Vongerichten, one of only five Michelin Two Stars chefs in the entire city, has consistently provided an exquisite dining experience for his guests. For those seeking a timelessly, elegant service, it well-worth the pursuit of a coveted, hard-to-book reservation at Jean Georges Restaurant. However, for those who can not afford the magnificence of his valued (and valuable) Jean Georges Restaurant, the sister/more casual restaurant Nougatine has everything you need to sample the beautiful medley of service, food and experience.
Located inside the wonderful Trump International Hotel & Tower New York, Nougatine situates itself in-between the hotel lobby and the private sanctum of Jean Georges Restaurant. The entire front wall is a spotless patchwork of windows, pouring in natural light, illuminating a crisp dining space and an open kitchen feeding both Nougatine and Jean Georges Restaurant.
I was honored to have been invited to Nougatine by the incredibly accomplished and personable Trump Hotel New York management team: General Manager Prince Sanders and Head of Marketing and PR Kelly Merryfield. Both made you feel as if old friends were simply getting together, rather than new friends, and it is worth noting this aura of friendly ease permeates throughout the hotel staff.
The menu of food options are fresh, vibrant and creative. I have been trying to eat healthier so I was so pleased to see so many dishes comprised of alive elements such as Sweet Pea Soupand Warm Shrimp Salad. Prince said the Warm Shrimp Salad was one of his favorite items on the menu but I had to order the Sweet Pea Soup, and I wasn't disappointed by the light weight of the soup itself enlivened by the blended ingredients of sourdough croutons and parmesan. (My photo definitely does not do it any justice!) Personally, I would have been fine not having the texture balance of the croutons and perhaps having parmesan crisps instead but that is a too-fine critique.
I also had a bite of Prince's Warm Shrimp Salad and I definitely can see myself coming back to Nougatine just to eat it. The dressing is absolutely magnificent.
Because Nougatine is located inside the Trump International complex, I knew President Trump is obsessed with their burger so I had to try it. I have to say the Cheeseburger was well-worth the order and, if I wasn't trying to pace myself so I could eat dessert (as well as another restaurant review later in the evening for dinner), I would have demolished the entire entree.
And, as everyone knows, I am totally obsessed with french fries but because I am trying to lose weight I just sampled one. Incredibly tasty without a semblance of grease.
As for dessert, I also knew I wanted to order the Molten Chocolate Cake because it also was President Trump's favorite and, again, it was much better than even I would have thought. The cake was baked to perfection: nothing was burnt, crisp or soggy. The "molten" element was provided by the chocolatey fudge interior and it more resembled a Swiss confection of fondue than an American mess of fudge. Texture, design, taste ... all were perfect.
I also tried the Raspberry Trifle because Prince said he loved it, and I really did too. It fed into my "fresh" and "alive" style of eating now, but I was craving chocolate and the Molten Chocolate Cake was fabulous.
Overall, the lunch at Nougatine was beyond exquisite. I truly enjoyed it, and I can't wait to go back again. So many thanks to the Trump Hotel team for the beautiful meal.