SquareMeal Review of
Jean-Georges at The Connaught
Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Vong at The Berkeley was a huge hit in the 90s (and much missed following its closure in 2002), but now the New York-based Alsatian chef is back with Jean-Georges at The Connaught. The curving space that was formerly the hotel's Espelette restaurant might still have the feel of a breakfast and afternoon tea rendezvous, but the food is far more adventurous than the setting suggests. Playful luxury is a running theme on the menu – silky egg yolks sandwiched between caviar-topped brioche toast, lobster partnered by a crispy fried squash flower stuffed with prawns, or a gooey pizza of Fontina cheese and black truffle. Ingredients are also top notch, from firm tentacles of grilled octopus arranged cruciform-style to a salad of sweet jumbo prawns dressed with Champagne vinegar. Exquisite-looking desserts should not be missed, although the spectacular-looking candy floss creation is easier to Instagram than it is to eat. Service is as deferential as the hotel setting demands, and the final size of the bill the only intrusion of reality into a delightfully escapist confection.