Columbus Circle

Trump International Hotel & Tower

Lunch at Jean Georges

Amuse Bouche: Fragrant Compressed watermelon, fried quail egg with bacon & salsa verde, chilled corn and lemongrass soup

Cold Appetizers: Sashimi of Madai (Japanese snapper) with Floral Infused Cherries & cilantro oil; Jean Georges' signature silky Tuna Ribbons in Ginger Soy marinade

Luscious Sea Scallops,Tender Caramelized Cauliflower, Caper Raisin Emulsion (mustardy)

Entrees: Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Confit (w/ bright lemon butter, basil & avocado); Red Snapper crusted with hazelnuts and pepper atop an intense porcini butter sauce w/ heirloom tomatoes (awesome!)

Dessert: Macerated strawberries with cream cheese sponge cake; strawberry and lemongrass granita

Mignardises: These little gems, 3 kinds of great bread and the spectacular amuse bouche are included in the $29 price tag. Worth twice the price!

The NYT 4-star Jean Georges is one of the most sophisticated and refined restaurants in the country. Because of that, I find it unlikely it's associated with a coarse and vulgar man whose TV show I blame (at least in part) for the cultural slump we're in -- you see JG is located in the meretriciously gold building that bears the name of "Trump International Hotel & Tower" (it's along Columbus circle @ the edge of Central Park). Obviously JG is expensive unless you know about its fabulous $29/two-course lunch deal (extra dishes can be added for $14.50).

While there, I saw a table that stood out because of their indoor lunchtime sunglasses, absurd cellphoning and hunker-n-shovel method of eating -- finally, I recognized a couple of them to be David and Shaun Cassidy, but I couldn't figure out who the t-shirt clad guy that looked sorta like that Dyson vacuum dude was. Opening up the Times yesterday, though, I saw a review of a new Cassidy bros. show premiering Tuesday which had a photo that revealed the t-shirt shoveler to be Patrick Cassidy (never heard of that one).

I watched the show -- it's called Ruby & the Rockits. It was as bad as the JG lunch was wonderful. All of the food I had @ JG was simultaneously delicate yet intense, accessible yet poetic, not one false note! Adding to my glorious lunch experience were surprisingly affordable glasses of wine delivered in big pours by my out-of-this-world great waitress -- who was like some kind of superwoman combination of Beyonce and Condi Rice.