Jean-Georges Vongerichten in Miami

Jean-Georges Vongerichten

By Nancy Smorch

One of the things I was excited about on my recent stay in Miami was the abundance of great restaurants.  While reading an article about Miami in Guns and Garden Magazine (it's actually a really great magazine), I read that Jean-Georges Vongerichten had a restaurant in the St. Regis Hotel in Bal Harbour (north Miami).  It was around 1:30 in the afternoon when I was reading the article, so I went online to make sure how late they served lunch, and Mike and I took off to experience lunch at Jean-Georges’ restaurant, J&G Grill.

I’m embarrassed to say that I hadn’t even heard of Jean-Georges until a couple of months ago when I watched an episode of Iconoclast (Sundance Channel) featuring Jean-Georges and Hugh Jackman (you can download the episode on iTunes - and I highly recommend watching it).  I was intrigued by the Asian influence in his French cuisine and his passion and creativity for using fresh, local, organic foods and blending spices and flavors most typically wouldn’t think to combine.  Take, for example, the Grilled Wild Salmon Salad with Carrot-Ginger Dressing, Orange, and Sesame (pictured above) - crazy good.  When they set in in front of me, I seriously teared up!

Lunch was so good that we decided to come back for dinner that same evening, our last evening in Miami.  And we weren’t disappointed.  With the incredibly prepared filet - the best my husband has ever had, he said - he ordered a side of sweet potato puree with ginger and mustard - an unusual combination that worked incredibly well.  And for dessert - Salted Caramel Ice Cream Sundae with Peanuts, Popcorn, and Chocolate Sauce.  That, along with the best cappuccino I had my entire stay in Miami, was a great end to a wonderful dining experience.

I will definitely be seeking out Jen Georges’ other restaurants wherever I go.  His passion for amazing food and service is infectious!  Check out his other restaurants on his website.