After somewhat disappointing meals at both Per Se and Blue Hill at Stone Barns, I was ready to throw in the towel and eat hot wings for the rest of the trip since, clearly, the Fancy Category wasn’t cutting it. Little did I know the winner would be, yes, a fancy restaurant—Jean Georges’s flagship on Columbus Circle—but for its decidedly affordable two-course $38 lunch offered Monday through Saturday (dinner is $98 for three courses).
I was surprised, to say the least. Certainly the location of Seäsonal–a whitewashed pocket on a grimy Midtown side street–betrayed the sophisticated and nuanced food that lay within, and was… Austrian, no less! Apologies to the Austrians, but I’m used to spätzle (egg pasta) that sits like a rock in the gut, and wiener schnitzel (breaded and fried veal) that, sure, gets the job done, but isn’t going to be on anyone’s “last meal” short list. Nonetheless, both were ordered here and both were exceptional. But first, let’s talk appetizers!