A memorable evening of romance and fine dining at the
JEAN-LOUIS in Greenwich, Connecticut owned by Chef
Jean-Louis Gerin and his charming wife Linda, had me
recalling memories of Paris. Since 1985, Restaurant JEAN-LOUIS
focused on the art and style of French cuisine with the perfect dash of
intimate ambience and attentive yet unobtrusive service; located only 37
minutes from New York City, it is well worth the drive.
Restaurant JEAN-LOUIS is a treasure, a "bijou" as they would
say in France;
an intimate restaurant that is as attractive as it is welcoming. Original art
graces the bisque and coral accented walls, and a rich terra cotta wall at the
back of the restaurant draws the eye to the Chef-Bar which has 4 stools to
provide guests with the opportunity to watch the action in the kitchen where
Chef Jean-Louis deftly orchestrates his culinary magic.
Restaurant JEAN-LOUIS Dining Room
The dining room tables are pristinely dressed with cream
linens and ivory napkins, sparkling crystal wine glasses etched with the name,
Jean-Louis Gerin, white on white Bernardaud china, tea lights glow in domed
white holders, red glass is artfully scattered to add visual appeal, and
specially designed bread plates with the restaurant's charming logo of a man
and a woman gazing into one another's eyes across a table that hints that
although stylish and elegant, there is a playfulness here as well that
accompanies the exquisite cuisine and service.
We began the evening sitting at the Chef-Bar and enjoying an
aperitif of Jean-Louis' private label champagne, Champagne 1er Cru "Cuvée
Jean-Louis" Brut, Blanc de Blancs, chatting with the amiable Chef Jean-Louis
about his culinary vision and admiring the large silver toque displayed on the
Master Chef Jean-Louis with
Champagne 1er Cru "Cuvée Jean-Louis" Brut, Blanc de Blancs
Since Jean-Louis began his foray into the culinary world at
age 13 working in a Michelin restaurant where he was responsible for washing
the Baccarat crystal, and after his preliminary education, graduating from the
prestigious l'Ecole Hôtelière de Thonon Les Bains in France where he received
formal restaurant training and a degree in business, his culinary dedication
has earned him numerous awards and recognition including Maitre Cuisiner de
France - Chevalier du Mérite Agricole 2001 (Master Chef of France); Best
Chef Northeast "James Beard Foundation 2006; and The Silver Toque,
Master Chef of France 2009.
Master Chef Jean-Louis and Linda
Chef Jean-Louis knows how to earn guest loyalty with his
flexible approach to dining that includes a 5-course menu, Le Grand Tasting,
which he changes nightly; a 3-course menu, La Ballade Gourmande; an a la carte
menu; and for guests looking for something smaller, there is a special menu
with mini-prices at the Chef-Bar. However, to fully appreciate his style, we
opted to have the 5-course Le Grand Tasting menu. Comfortably seated at a table
by the window, we eagerly anticipated what surprises were in store for us while
music by Billie Holiday played softly in the background.
The first inspiration of the evening to arrive was a well
presented and very tasty amuse bouche of a rich and flavorful mushroom soup
served in a shot glass accompanied by a leek tartlet that set the standard for
Although we both had Le Grand Tasting Menus, Chef Jean-Louis
created separate menus for each of us. For Edward, there was a lovely first
course of vichyssoise made with cubed potatoes, leeks, and a generous amount of
mussels in a flavorful broth. This hearty course was definitely a palate
pleaser and was perfect on a cold and rainy evening.
For my first course there was delicious pumpkin and lobster
bisque that was swirled with a pool of crème fraiche and garnished with diced
tomatoes and micro chives scattered along the top. The bisque had great subtly
of flavors that melded together beautifully and offered succulent lobster
morsels in each spoonful. Both of our first courses were well paired with Côtes du Rhône 2008, Ferraton Père & Fils, 13%
alcohol, from the Rhone Valley.
Pumpkin and Lobster Bisque
Edward continued with red snapper that was steamed in jus
with fresh ginger and was elegantly presented on a bed of seaweed salad, and
accompanied by carrot balls and haricot vert in a beurre blanc sauce (Filet de
Vivaneaux à la vapeur de gingembre, salade d'algues et de haricot vert, beurre
blanc). Chef Jean-Louis clearly demonstrated his expertise with recipes that
were not overcomplicated, yet were enchanting in the selection and combination
of ingredients and flavors.
For my next tasting, Chef Jean-Louis sent me a buttery and
golden crispy skin sole that was crowned with caviar and presented on a bed of
risotto with a fan of snow peas and a broccoli floweret with a pool of sauce
sprinkled with micro chives. As someone who appreciates caviar, this course was
sensational, fully delivering on the palate what it promised in the
presentation. Our courses were once again expertly paired, this time with
Chateau La Grand Clotte 2005, Bordeaux Blanc, 14% alcohol, that was fermented
and aged in new French oak barrels.
Edward's third course was slices of tenderloin presented on
a mound of ratatouille, with cranberries, nicoise olives, cauliflower, and snow
peas in a rich sauce. This course was paired with Joseph Drouhin,
Chorey-Les-Beaune, 13% alcohol, from Burgundy that was aromatic with rich dark
fruit on the palate.
My third course was scallops that were pan seared and
golden, on a bed of seaweed salad, with a grapefruit segment, baby brussels
sprouts, and haricot vert, and beurre blanc sauce. What I loved about this
course was the wonderful balance of salty and sweet, how the citrus
complemented the scallops, and worked well with the combination of the slight
bitterness of the brussels sprouts.
Pan Seared Scallops
The last of Edward's savory courses was a delectable quail
from Vermont in a devil sauce made with white Armagnac and crushed black pepper
(grosse caille élevée pour nous par la ferme Cavendish du Vermont) that was
I continued with medallions of monkfish with pearl onions
and Parisian carrots presented in a heavenly lobster and red wine sauce
(médallion de lotte et carrottes boules) that was the perfect finale to my
savory courses. The wine for our fourth course was Clos des Menuts 2004, Saint-Émilion Grand Cru,
13% alcohol, from the Bordeaux region that was made with a blend of 85% Merlot,
10% Cabernet Sauvignon, and 5% Cabernet Franc.
Medallions of Monkfish
Dessert took a lighter approach with an apple tart, a
quenelle of chocolate mousse, and a selection of three sorbets that were well
paired with Chateau La Foncalpre 2006, Monbazillac, 14%, France, which had a
lovely aromatic nose and a delightful yet not overpowering sweetness. A plate
of mignardises consisting of macaroons, quince paste, and butter cookies were
the final sweet parting to an evening to remember at Restaurant Jean-Louis.
Assortment of Dessert
Restaurant JEAN-LOUIS is open for lunch Monday
through Friday from Noon until 2:00 pm, and for dinner Monday through Saturday
from 5:45 pm.
Read the Chefs' Recipes section where Chef
Jean-Louis Gerin shares a delicious taste of Restaurant Jean-Louis to tempt
your palate before visiting the restaurant.
61 Lewis Street
Greenwich, Connecticut 06830
Read other articles on Stamford, Connecticut and the surrounding area in the Destinations, Hotels and Resorts, Restaurants, Chefs' Recipes, and Arts sections.
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