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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The best restaurant I think I've ever been to.

Jung Sik

2 Harrison St.
New York City

The nicest restaurant I’ve ever had the opportunity to eat at! It’s the only Michelin Star rated Korean restaurant in New York City and it certainly deserves it. Sometimes when making a reservation, they will ask if you are celebrating a special occasion. But Jung Sik went above and beyond to print “Happy Birthday Jacqueline” onto each menu heading in gold print with the date. It’s the little things that make a big difference. Not once did our server ever make us feel pressured to order the tasting menu (10 courses for $155, wine pairings for an additional $105). We experimented with the a la carte menu and tasted some incredible creations.

First of all, I heard about Jung Sik when I was in Seoul last time. I was in the hotel room googling places to go for dinner, combining two words in my search: “uni” and “bibimbap”. Two of my most favorite foods! I came across the website for Jung Sik, noting the two locations: one in the Gangnam area of Seoul, the other one in TriBeCa NYC. They had several write-ups on their famed Sea Urchin Bibimbap, so I knew I had to try it one way or another. I decided to make it my birthday dinner in NYC.

First up was a plate of bite-sized samples, compliments of the chef. A rice cracker with jam, tofu with vegetable, meatball, and the world’s tiniest burger (says me), all presented artistically on a slate platter. I’m a sucker for presentation. After all, I take more pictures of food than people.
Bibim with Arugula Sorbet
Sea Urchin
We order the Bibim with arugula sorbet to start. It comes cold, delicate, and refreshing! The next dish was the highlight. Sea Urchin!! Several briny tongues of beautiful sea urchin rested over a mound of Korean seaweed rice and crispy quinoa. It was phenomenal. 
Crispy Pork Belly over Noodles
Black Cod

We followed up the sea urchin with a bowl of noodles with crispy pork belly, and black cod with soy-pepper marinade. Both looked like works of art. Not one dish disappointed!

We received a plate of desserts, compliments of the chef. I like this guy. Bite-sized chocolates, macaroons, and sponge cakes infused with ginger and pistachio finish our presentation. But wait, one last thing. A chocolate dessert with a candle served on a slate tray with “Happy Birthday” written on it. They really know how to create a personalized evening for special occasions. Jung Sik is a class act!

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