J-J-J-JO JO

by Marisa Olsen


For my birthday dinner, aka the time where I get to pick where I want to eat and have my parents treat, I chose JoJo, one of Jean-George’s oldest NYC restaurants. I figured it would be a safe option; Contemporary French cuisine, easy to find and relatively reasonable, considering the "JG" name. Unfortunately, about a month before our reservation, NYMag featured an article that totally bashed J.G.'s little gem of a restaurant, labeling it as one of NYC's most overrated restaurants, “Once the gleam of [Jean-Georges’s] eye, now the bastard son at the family reunion”). I was scared and I panicked, but remained resilient and after thoughtful considerations, we stuck with our gut and kept our reservation at JoJo. We made the right choice. JoJo is tucked into a beautifully manicured town house on the UES. Inside is intimate, lush and comforting. We were seated on the second floor, tucked in the corner and had a lovely view of the neighborhood, which gave off a very Parisian feel. Our food, was fantastic all around, even down to our butter. We ordered an array of appetizers: pea soup, asparagus and avocado salad, crab cakes and a tuna soy bean emulsion roll that put traditional sushi to shame. For dinner, we all sampled and tried the ginger chicken with chick pea fritters, steak frites, skate with carrots and striped sea bass with roasted artichokes and peas and carrots. No complaints; it was scrumptious with excellent, attentive service and a nice bottle of Pinot Blanc. Go-to-JoJo.