Review: Refined French Prix Fixe for NYC Restaurant Week at JoJo
July 12, 2011 by Jen Balisi
In case you’re out of the loop, it’s Restaurant Week in NYC, where for a very reasonable $24.07 or $35 you get a 3-course pre-fixe lunch or dinner, respectively, at some of the city’s best restaurants. Now anyone who knows me knows that I am a huge fan of it, dining at a minimum of 3 places in both the winter and summer runs. Having dined at Spice Market before, I’ve always been meaning to try some of Jean Georges‘ other restaurants, so for my first meal for this summer’s restaurant week, I went to JoJo, the restaurateur’s first mainstay in the city.
I wish I had taken pictures of the interior, because it is definitely one of the cutest places I’ve been to in the city. The restaurant is situated in a 2-story townhouse that reminded me of a quaint French chateau with its delicate and rustic details. But appearance aside, JoJo’s restaurant week menu for lunch was superb. Unlike other places which offer a very limited selection, I actually had difficulty choosing my appetizer and entrée with so many tempting choices. In the end I went with the sweet pea soup, which came with a sourdough crouton that went perfectly with the soup. My entrée was the skate wing, pictured above, which just melted like butter in your mouth and had such great flavor, especially with its vegetable accompaniments.
Alfred also had the skate wing for his entrée, but chose the tuna tartare for his appetizer which distinguished itself from the standard tartare with its waffle potato crisps. I thought my sister won for choosing the best appetizer, though, with peekytoe crab meat that you eat with cumin crackers and mango salsa like an open-faced sandwich. Then again, pretty much anything with either crab or mango will win in my book.
Now, anyone who knows me knows I HATE raw tomatoes. They literally make me gag. I’ve tried to like them, I really have, but my taste buds and gag reflex keep refusing. In any case, I still tried out my sister’s entrée of salmon which, as you can see, was covered in cherry tomatoes. She made sure to give me a portion without a tomato, and while the salmon with corncake mash itself was good, the tomato juice that lingered still threw it off for me. She ensured me that the entire dish with all components was delicious though, so take her word for it.
My sister and Alfred ended their meal with JoJo’s signature molten chocolate cake, which was heaven. I had the strawberry mousse was equally delicious and came with a red wine sorbet that elevated the dessert to the level of the rest of the meal. Overall, it was a great meal with impeccable service that came to a cool $30 each with tax and tip – a great way to kick off summer restaurant week.
Welcome to No Gut Glutton (plus a Disclaimer)
July 12, 2011 by Jen Balisi
Welcome friends and strangers to my finally conceived food blog. As someone who has always been a foodie, trying new places, recommending restaurants to friends, and spamming Facebook with my own food porn in the form of mobile uploads (sorry for that, btw), I’ve been saying for the past 2 years that I’ve always wanted to make a food blog. And now, with over a month of free time left before full-time employment begins, I figure it’s time to stop talking and start doing (I also couldn’t sleep, hence the ridiculous timestamp).
Now as a disclaimer, the title of this blog is a bit deceiving. I am not exactly “gutless”, for which you can blame 4 years of college and a semester abroad in the country with the highest consumption of beer per capita (Prague, CZ represent). However, I do my best to keep that shit under control. When I’m not dining out for Restaurant Week or trying the new all-you-can-eat sushi buffet in my NJ hometown (both of which I did yesterday), I’m doing yoga, going for a run, and eating food that’s chock full of whole grains, veggies, lean proteins, and other stuff that’s good for you (which I did this past Tuesday thru Friday). I’m even starting a 3 day combo juice/raw cleanse today (which me luck).
Hence the name of this blog: No Gut Glutton. (Side note: I wanted to call it a bajillion other things like Foodie not Fatty but they were all apparently taken)
Anyway, in this blog I’ll highlight my various food adventures in NYC as they happen and may do some retrospective posts about some of my favorite places in the city as well (sidenote: I’m really indecisive so those links are truly a random assortment of a much larger list of favorites). Of course, I’ll also document my healthy side with recipes for meals that are both yummy and guilt-free and other random things concerning my attempt to get rid of my gut.
This is obviously still in infancy and will change over time. With that, I’d love any suggestions or feedback, love, hate, share it with your friends, whatever. I’m just really excited to finally be doing this. And so it begins…