Nougatine at Jean Georges: pleasant lunch

Dear Food Diary:
Last weekend was a real happy one, my buddy was back in town visiting. She moved to LA for work a couple month ago and we miss each others company and all of our hang outs. So I suggested to meet at Nougatine on Sunday for a nice late lunch, while we catch up.
In the heart of Columbus Circle, inside the Trump building, you walk into a pool of beautiful leaves and plants over water, and immediately greeted and seated by the hostesses. The place is very airy, but smaller than I had imagined. The afternoon sun brightened the dining room through floor to ceiling windows.
To our surprise, the Restaurant Week pre-fix lunch was still being served, even though it was Sunday. We decided to take the offer and do the $24.09 deal/steal.
We both picked the Tuna Tartare for starters. It has creamy avocado and spicy radish on top. I loved the presentation of pouring the marinade in front of us, the Ginger Marinade (similar to a ginger/carrot dressing but sans carrots) had alot of good flavors and it was tart enough to stand up to the spicy and crunchy radish. A few drops of sesame oil made the finishing touches. This could very well be one of my favorite tuna tartares from what I’ve tried so far, it was our favorite dish of the entire meal for sure.
My main course was Pan roasted Snapper, excellent choice by the way. The fish is cooked with precision and the goldbar squash and tomato compote was excellent. It had a handful of herbs, olive oil, and olives to dance around with. Light, yet very powerful in flavor, flaky fish with some crispiness, fresh summer squash with a savory, sweet and tart tomato blend, and intense olives to play with your palate.
Dessert came in the form of a circular tower of Vanilla cake with fresh strawberries salad and a red wine sorbet. While reading the menu, I couldn’t wait to try the red wine sorbet, but it tasted anything but red wine, at first I suspected that the strawberries had over powered it, but no, I tried it on it’s own, and no hint of red wine was to be found. The cake was fine and the strawberries seem to have identify issues, not really fresh or preserve, but in between. The flavors of the berries were loud, but it’s summer time and they are good anyways, so I really wasn’t impressed with dessert.
My buddy on the other hand had a really small and mediocre Steak, not that it was awful, but nothing special either, and it was tiny. For dessert she had the Jean Georges warm chocolate cake with vanilla bean ice cream, which was good, but again, we weren’t blown away, even though his name is on the dish. Maybe our expectations for the dessert was too high? I don’t know, but I’ve had similar or quite honestly better ones elsewhere.
Overall I enjoyed the progression of my courses, but wasn’t wowed. 
P.S. Chubby’s RATING: chubby rating 3
1 Central Park West
212.299.3900
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