Some 20 years ago, our family dined at the Inn at Pound Ridge for some important occasion such as Easter or Mother’s Day. Pound Ridge is about 15 miles from Greenwich, just across the New York border, and a number of celebrities call this exclusive and somewhat remote area “home.” I don’t recall the menu that day, but I do remember that the restaurant was loud and that the food was relatively unappetizing. We haven’t been back since.
A friend of ours suggested that we might want to give the Inn at Pound Ridge another shot since Jean-George had taken over the kitchen and that the food and service was considerably better. It certainly has, but the noise at the Inn is still deafening – even for lunch!
Now, I am always intrigued by what Jean-George is up to in the kitchen since he plates well, the food is innovative and the service excellent. The meal we were served was no exception. Now Sheila is of the opinion that you should never accept the table that is first offered you and we finally settled on a corner table “far from the maddening crowd” of chatty women celebrating someone’s birthday, engagement or promotion. (Editor’s Note: I apologize if this sounds sexist as men are equally boisterous. Nevertheless, men have the good sense to duel for attention in a pub rather than a fine restaurant.)
As expected in a Jean-George restaurant, the service was impeccable: knowledgeable and personable waiters and a “wait-staff” that kept your water glass filled, re-folded the napkins if you happened to excuse yourself and always asked for permission to clear the table between courses. It is unusual to find this level of service in more than 5% of the restaurants today.
I suspect that the menu changes often at the Inn depending on the season, but the menu is extensive and there is plenty that would tempt even the most constipated gourmand. For appetizers, Sheila selected a delicious yellow-fin tuna sushi which was served over crusty rice and a tasty sauce with a hint of hot peppers. I settle for lightly-battered calamari served with a creamy Yuzo and sesame sauce. Both appetizers were excellent.
For a main course, I chose the hake served over mashed potatoes with broccoli. As I remarked to Sheila, it was the best broccoli I have ever eaten and the combination of flavors were exquisite. Sheila had a delightful hanger steak sandwich served with arugula in pita bread. It too was excellent.
Our desserts were a bit of a disappointment, and I am sure that both of us wished we had ordered Jean-George’s famous salted caramel ice cream served with popcorn and peanuts that we so enjoyed at his ABC Kitchen.
All-in-all a delightful dining experience and we will certainly return.