Mon-Thu, 7am-11am, noon-3pm and 5:30pm-11pm; Fri, 7am-11am; noon-3pm and 5pm-11pm; Sat, 8am-11am, noon-3pm and 5pm-11pm; Sun, 8am-11am, noon-3pm and 5:30pm-10:30pm
1, A, B, C, D at 59th St.-Columbus Circle
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Possibly the least heralded and most overlooked restaurant in town. The city's haughtiest dining snobs pass it by nightly. How does this happen? Before one can enter the cubist temple to gastronomy that is Jean-Georges, it is necessary to stroll through an engagingly uncluttered space of blonde-wood modernity. Note the imposing terrazzo floor that bears a striking resemblance to a huge hunk of nougatine. Next time, go no farther. From the same kitchen, Jean-Georges Vongerichten produces a playful menu more akin to that of JoJo, JG's earliest East Side location, than to that of the sanctum next door. You can still experience euphoria, ecstasy, mastery, all the lovely thrills Mr. V. has to offer, but less complex dishes, like salmon baked with lemon crumbs with a sweet chili glaze and swiss chard, don't demand such undivided attention, leaving you with enough focus to smirk at the elitists walking by. If knowledge is power, one-upmanship can sometimes be a reason for living.Brunch
Sun., noon—3 p.m.
Mon.-Sat., three-course lunch, $38; Daily, five-course dinner, $88