Jean Georges

Overall taste: 7/10 | 2016 | 1 Central Park West, New York, NY 10023

Jean Georges is a 3-michelin starred restaurant in New York as well as the most disappointing restaurant we’ve been to. We spent over $300 here (with no alcohol), and we expect the taste rating to be at least a 8/10 for this kind of price.

+++ = highly recommend | – – – = do not recommend

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– – – Amuse bouche

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+++ Toasted egg yolk, caviar and herbs ($69) [We felt that this was the only amazing dish. It literally tasted perfect; the salty caviar went really well with the  lightly-seasoned soft yolk and buttered toast…. but look at the price for a two-bite appetizer.]
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Sea trout & oyster tartar, chive, lemon, horseradish ($29) [Lynn liked it but Jeff found the oyster to be too fishy]
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Yellowfin tuna ribbons, avocado and spicy radish, ginger marinade ($29) [Average. The sauce was on the sour side.]
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– – – Foie Gras terrine, strawberry granola, aged balsamic ($37) [We are huge foie gras fans and this is the worst foie gras dish we’ve had. Every part of it is infused with sweet strawberry.  If you like your foie gras as a dessert, this might be for you.]
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+++ Diver scallops, caramelized cauliflower, caper-raisin emulsion ($37) [This was great, and is what we expect from a 3-michelin starred restaurant. The scallops had a crispy golden crust. The caramelized cauliflower was delicious and didn’t have much of a burnt taste.]
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– – – Tenderloin of beef, heirloom carrots and fingerling potatoes, hibiscus mustard ($54) [We’re trying not to exaggerate here, but we believe most people that cook at home can make better steak than this. It’s ironic how chewy this tenderloin was and the flavour was simply not there. The steak also wasn’t meaty enough and tasted like those cheap $10 steak diners serve.]
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Salt and pepper sweetbreads, sweet chili emulsion, pea shoots, golden garlic ($29) [This was well fried, but we prefer our sweetbreads pan-fried so that we can actually taste it.]
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Chocolate – dark chocolate mousse, milk chocolate ganache, passion fruit gelee, mini chocolate cake, hibiscus sorbet, crystallized rose, peanut caramel, olive oil powder, fraises des bois and macadamia nut milk ($12) [Average]
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– – – Strawberry – vanilla tapioca pudding, strawberry sorbet, enchanced strawberries, gelee and crisps ($12) [This is undoubtedly one of the prettiest desserts we’ve had, but also one of the worst in terms of taste. The so-called “enhanced strawberries” were soaked in sauces that simply do not go well with strawberries, unless black pepper strawberry is your thing.]
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Complimentary chocolate [Average]
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Complimentary desserts [Average]

Menton

Overall taste: 8/10 | 2017 | 354 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210

+++ = highly recommend | – – – = do not recommend

We feel that we’d give Menton a higher rating if we ordered from their regular menu instead of their Dine Out Boston menu. This review is based on their 2017 Dine Out Boston selection only (see menu below). We went for their 3 course menu for $35pp.

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Yellowfin tuna crudo – eggplant, za’atar, olive [What distinguishes this from other dishes is their amazing accompaniments. We loved the eggplant and the sauce around it. The seared tuna itself was kind of average.]
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– – –  Chicory salad – trufflle, parmigiano, focaccia [We love truffle and focaccia, so when this come out, we were extremely disappointed. There was barely any taste of truffle oil. The focaccia, while beautiful, wasn’t that tasty and was way too thin. We never liked spring mix but this spring mix was more bitter than usual.]
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+++ Prime beef ribeye – malt, salsify, pearl onion [Again, where is the ribeye cap?! Do people in Boston not like the best part of ribeye? Apart from that, this was our favourite dish. The beef was lightly seasoned, allowing us to enjoy the full flavour of the meat. The accompaniments were extremely enjoyable as well.]
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Cappelletti – parsnip, almond, pancetta [We like that the pasta wrap was more firm than usual. We didn’t like bacon bits around it; they were very tough and dry.]
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Apple spice cake – sultana, cinnamon, walnut [This was very average.]
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Chocolate praline tart – blood orange, hazelnut, espresso [Jeff is not a fan. He thinks that the coffee flavor was too strong. Lynn likes it since she’s a coffee fan.]
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Assorted mini macaroons  (complimentary) [Aren’t they the cutest?!]

Click to enlarge menus.

 

L’Espalier

Overall taste: 9/10 | 2017 | 774 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02199

+++ = highly recommend | – – – = do not recommend

We really like L’Espalier and would probably go more often if it’s cheaper. We got their 3-course brunch for $65pp (served on Saturdays and Sundays). On Wednesday to Friday, they serve their 5-course lunch for $68pp and you also have the option of ordering from their a la carte menu. If you ever go, remember to take their 20% off coupon on your way out for your next visit.

We find a lot of food (especially in the U.S.) to be either too salty or sweet to the extent that we can’t appreciate the taste of the dish. This is one of the rare places where we find food seasoned to our liking, which is why we gave it such a high rating. We generally liked all their dishes except one of the desserts (see below).

Brunch:
Amuse Bouche, Chef Jacob’s smoothe, First, Main, Dessert ($65pp. some selections require a $10 supplement)

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Flavoured butter (amuse-bouche) [The flavour was extremely subtle and it tasted like regular butter.]
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Cranberry muffin & thyme scone (amuse-bouche) [We liked both their muffin and scone. Jeff prefers the muffin while Lynn prefers the scone. We weren’t sure if the butter (above) was meant for these since they were already quite buttery.]
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Chef Jacob’s smoothie – banana, pineapple & clementine [Jeff found it a little weird while Lynn liked it. We are not sure what they put in it but Lynn tasted a cheesy flavour while Jeff tasted some sort of herb.]
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+++ Lobster bisque – maine lobster / melted leeks [It was on the sour side, but it tasted really good. Jeff’s only complaint is that there was too little lobster meat.]
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+++ Roasted hudson valley foie gras – bitter almond pancake / roasted pear ($10 supplement) [We are both big foie gras fans and we really liked everything about this dish. The pancake and pear were not overly sweet or strong and they complemented the perfectly seared foie gras really well.]
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+++ Roasted loch etive trout – spring peas / fried capers / asparagus [If you’ve never had trout, it tastes and look very similar to salmon. The trout was cooked to our preference where the middle was a little rare. It also went extremely well with their sauce.] 
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+++ Ribeye – truffled eggs / sunchoke / roasted salsify ($10 supplement) [Our favourite part of ribeye is actually the ribeye cap, but this ribeye didn’t have a cap.. Apart from that, everything tasted really good. It almost seemed like the chef made sure every single ingredient was there for a reason, and at the perfect proportion.]
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– – – Jelly donut – filled cranberry-orange jam / ricotta ice-cream [The ricotta icecream was good, but their donut was a huge disappointment. It tasted like donut that was fried and left out on the table for 2 days. The exterior was not crispy and the dough was hard. We noticed several people who also did not finish their donuts.]
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Chocolate pot de creme – shortbread cookie / vanilla ice cream [We requested to have their chai spice icecream substituted with something else. We forgot to confirm what they substitute it with but we think it’s vanilla. We have to say this is a very unique chocolate pot de creme. It was more savoury than sweet. Jeff liked it but Lynn prefers her chocolate sweet.]
 

 

The Bistro & Wine Bar – Mirbeau Inn & Spa

Overall taste: 8.5/10 | 2016 | 35 Landmark Drive, Plymouth, MA 02360

Mirbeau Inn & Spa is one hour drive away from Boston. It is a great spot for a staycation where you can indulge in their spa services and good food: http://plymouth.mirbeau.com/

They hold several events such as the Cranberry Bog Dinner. It is also an ideal location for a semi-destination wedding!

The accommodation and food were complimentary, but we try to be objective in our review.

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Wood-roasted plymouth rock oyster – portuguese chorizo butter / espelette pepper / charred lime ($19) [This was delicious. It was cooked just right and the seasoning complimented the oysters very well.]
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Artisanal cheeses from near and far – sea salt crackers / summer peach jam / poppy seed honey ($18) [We really liked the selection of cheeses, which were varied and none of them was overly pungent.]
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Plymouth rock oyster on ice – banyuls mignonette / bistro hot sauce / horseradish cocktail ($18) [Very fresh oysters, but definitely on the pricey side.]
We’ve taken additional pictures of the inn to share with you guys. Overall, Mirbeau inn has a very relaxing atmosphere. Most of the guests utilise their spa services (you’d see many people wearing bath robes).

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Main entrance 
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Lobby
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Pond with live Koi fish – the patio to the left is where we dined
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Pond
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Garden
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Bridge

Brasserie Jo

Overall taste: 7/10 | 2016 | 120 Huntington Ave, Boston, MA 02116

We were invited to Brasserie Jo for a complementary meal, but we try to stay as objective as possible. There were some dishes we loved, and some, not so much.

+++ = highly recommend | – – – = do not recommend

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+++ Mussels Riesling Mariniere – pommes frites – mussels in white wine with fries ($25.95) [This is my favourite dish in the restaurant! I would rate its taste to be 9/10. The mussels were fresh, plump and cooked perfectly. The wine sauce was not over-powering and goes really well with the mussels.

Steak hash with quail egg – this item is not on their menu. Extremely cute presentation, but I found it to be too salty.

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Sea scallops provencal – peas, rice ($26.95) [the scallops were overcooked. I wasn’t a fan of the peas and rice underneath as well]

Escargotsen cocotte – garlic butter ($14.95) [I generally like food with less salt, so I do find a lot of food to be on the salty side. However, this dish is extremely salty.]

– – – Steak tartare – pommes frites, mustard butter, bearnaise ($19.95) [Steak tartare is a dish I will never fail to order if it’s in the restaurant menu. The ones I’ve had are usually chopped, which is the way I like it. This beef here was finely grounded; its almost as if it was blended]

+++ Eggs with lobster and creme fraiche – this item is not on their menu. [This would be my second favourite dish after their mussels! It’s lightly salted and there were at least 5 – 6 big chunks of succulent lobster meat in there.]