The paper-thin mushrooms and herbal broth hug the steamed sea bass tightly on the plate. Cut through the belly of the supple filet and the taper of flavors erupt. It feels like it could be a Jean-Georges Vongerichten classic—simple yet substantial—but it’s a brand-new offering.
As is everything—and I do mean everything—at the complete refresh of the Upper East Side staple that bares the famed chef’s childhood nickname.
Set in a now blond-washed town house still fronted by an intriguing clandestine doorway, and advertised by only a diminutive sign perched in a corner, JoJo began in 1991 as Vongerichten’s debut restaurant as chef and co-owner. The Frenchman founded the business at the start of the Clinton era, and ushered it through two more presidencies and decades of changing attitudes about food and dining in general before closing a year ago for an overhaul. “JoJo was my first restaurant and holds a special place in my heart,” Vongerichten says.