January 17, 2012

{Dining Out} Jungsik

Jungsik amuse bouche
Can you believe this was only our complimentary amuse bouche? We had struggled to find a restaurant that wasn't offering an over-priced "special" New Year's Eve dinner for our last meal of 2011. Jeff suggested we check out Jungsik, a new Korean upscale restaurant in the Tribeca neighborhood. Jungsik had received some good reviews and it was offering its regular menu at our earlier 7pm seating.

From start to finish, we were impressed with Jungsik's impeccable and gracious service. The space is sleek, yet intimate. We opted to sit side by side (love these corner tables!). I chose their 5-course tasting menu ($115) while Jeff decided to make his own 5-course menu ($115). Because Jeff doesn't have a sweet tooth like I do, he asked to start with 2 appetizers in lieu of dessert (which the restaurant kindly allowed). From the moment we order, the food just kept on coming.

Special cocktails: Rose of Sharon ($16) and Melange ($16)
We started with some cocktails. My Rose of Sharon was nice for anyone who likes soju with a touch of blackberry. Jeff enjoys bitters and bourbon, so the Melange was his drink of choice.

Our first bites was the complimentary 5-course amuse bouche: Cucumber Blue Cheese (airy and served in a glass), House-made tofu (silky), Pizza with fresh mozzarella and kimchi (so much flavor in such a tiny bite), Fried chicken on a stick (addictive), and Sliders.
Apple: Foie-Gras; Complimentary smokey soup; Bimbim; Mushroom: Dashi and Egg
The foie gras dish was delicate and we loved the sweet and salty combination. The complimentary soup was very comforting and tasted like a smoky lentil soup with cured meat. I thoroughly enjoyed the Bimbim, or deconstructed Caprese salad. The basil sorbet was beautiful and I loved mixing it together with the tomatoes, mozzarella, and crunchy roots. Underneath the salty Parmesan disc was a rich mushroom dashi and poached egg that Jeff finished in mere minutes.
Spicy Kalguksu with Clams, Garlic, Jalapeno
Sea Urchin with Korean Seaweed Rice, Crispy Quinoa
Crispy Snapper with Cilantro sauce
Tribeca Lobster ($7 supplement): Butter poached lobster with Korean Mustard
Five Senses (Spicy, Crunchy, Sour, Soft & Sweet) Pork Belly
Which dishes would you have chosen? Jeff likes rich and savory dishes so he preferred the Sea Urchin, Crispy Snapper, and Five Senses Pork Belly dishes. The crispy quinoa was a surprise winning combination with the briny uni. The rich pork belly was sliced into bite size pieces - and Jeff liked it so much that he ate mine too (I was very full by this point of the meal). The snapper was perfectly cooked and though he liked the flavor, found the sauce a touch salty.

I liked the Spicy Kalguksu dish with the briny clams and mildly spicy jalapenos. My favorite main dish was the buttery lobster with sweet creamy sauce.
Complimentary palette cleanser; Apple Rice Wine Baba; chocolate pot de creme; Michters Manhattan ($17)
Our pre-dessert was a refreshing palette cleanser of granita (the fruit was similar to Goji berry) with Lavendar creme on top and Asian pear puree on the bottom. Since Jeff swapped out his dessert for an extra appetizer, he opted for a couple of Manhattan cocktails made with Michter's Rye Whiskey.

My main dessert was the Apple Rice Wine Baba with Calvados Cream. Even though I was full, I always have room for dessert! This dish was a fun one - like a deconstructed apple crumb cake. Our final bite (post-dessert) was an Anjelica Root Chocolate Pot de Creme. It was the perfect ending to a wonderful meal.

Jung Sik on Urbanspoon

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