JG Sky High Lounge & Restaurant – A Review

by artfuldiner on March 18, 2021

in Artful Diner Review, Opinion, Pennsylvania, Romantic, Wining and Dining

JG Sky High Lounge & Restaurant

1 North 19th Street

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

(215) 419-5059


As most dedicated restaurant-goers are undoubtedly aware, Michelin-starred chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Jean-Georges Philadelphia is located on the penultimate 59th floor of the Four Seasons Hotel in the Comcast Technology Center… Unfortunately, it is currently closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

JG Sky High Lounge - ViewNo worries, though. For just a floor above, adjacent to the hotel’s reception area, the JG Sky High Lounge and Restaurant is serving breakfast, weekend brunch, and an all-day dining menu showcasing a more casual side to the chef’s innovative cuisine.

The JG Sky High menu pretty much goes its own way; although, there are a few significant crossovers from the Jean-Georges lunch and dinner offerings. The Prime Beef Tenderloin, for instance, and the Yellowfin Tuna Tartare with avocado, radish, ginger dressing, and chili oil – basically a variation on the infinitely more interesting Yellowfin Tuna Noodles theme.

Jean-Georges - Parm Crusted ChickenAmong the items appearing on both restaurant menus, the Parmesan Crusted Organic Chicken strikes me as the most notable. Chicken may not sound terribly exciting, but this dish definitely has everything going for it… The beautifully seasoned parmesan crust provides a perfect textural counterpoint to the tender, succulent fowl, while artichokes and an extraordinary lemon-basil sauce are positively superb in their supporting roles.

The inclusion of pizzas as a separate menu category certainly indicates that JG Sky High is targeting a diversified clientele, which undoubtedly would include adults with children in tow. The options begin with the somewhat basic Tomato, Mozzarella and Basil, $21.00; continue on to Sausage, Ricotta and Kale, $25.00; and top out with the avant-garde Black Truffle and Fontina, $29.00. In a similar vein, the menu also offers Rigatoni with Meatballs spruced up with a smoked chili tomato ragù and parmesan.

JG Sky High - Bacon CheeseburgerTaking the Italian route in a restaurant presided over by a famous French chef struck me as not the swiftest of gastronomic moves… On the other hand, the kitchen’s contemporary take on the all-American Cheddar Bacon Cheeseburger ($25.00), definitely offered some intriguing possibilities.  And, although my permanent dining partner was somewhat aghast by my choice, it turned out to be a winner.

For starters, it was done to a spot-on medium, precisely as ordered. Then there was the bacon… crisp and delightfully crunchy (not greasy and underdone as in lesser eateries). The cheese…?  Perfectly melted. And the yuzu pickles (cucumber slices marinated in yuzu juice, a citrus fruit of east Asian origin with a flavor that is often described as a cross between lemon and grapefruit) proved the consummate counterpoint to the richness of the liberally applied Russian dressing.

JG Sky High - RisottoThere was, of course, very little question as to what my dining partner would order. Once she laid eyes on the Shrimp and Mushroom Risotto, it was, as they say, a done deal – and a mighty good one, at that. Golden brown seared shrimp were arranged around a modest orb of perfectly cooked risotto crowned with sauteed mushrooms. Lemon, pepper, and a sprinkling of fresh dill added to the festivities. The thing she particularly enjoyed was the fact that the presentation was so nicely proportioned. There was just enough risotto to complement rather than overwhelm the other important elements of the dish.

To start things off, you may choose from “Appetizers” or a catch-all grouping of “Caviar, Crudos and Salads.” In this latter category, should you be feeling particularly flush, you can drop $120.00 on One Ounce Osetra Caviar served with warm blinis, and chive crème fraiche, or a mere $48.00 on Egg Toast and Caviar with Herbs.

JG Sky High - BurrataOn the other hand, more reasonably priced – and, I dare say, infinitely more comforting on a cold winter’s day – was my partner’s study-in-sublime-simplicity Creamy Tomato Soup ($13.00). And my Burrata (pictured, $22.00) is also highly recommended. I’ve sampled variations on this theme in numerous restaurants; but the presentation here is in a class by itself. The black bread adds a nice contrasting textural touch; but it is the smattering of tangy Meyer lemon jam that succeeds in bringing new life to what could be a rather dull combo of mozzarella and cream in less accomplished culinary hands.

The list of desserts is short and (if you’ll pardon the pun) sweet. Possibilities range from a Citrus Pavlova – a meringue-based dessert named after Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova – ($15.00) to a delicious Cookie Plate of chocolate chip, shortbread, almond, and fudge ($8.00).

JG Sky High - SundaeBut the sleeper among the sweet endings is undoubtedly the Salted Caramel Sundae ($14.00). It sounded a bit over-the-top to me; but my dining partner, who is something of a dessert maven, zeroed in right away – and it turned out to be a great call… creamy salted caramel ice cream embellished with candied peanuts & popcorn, rich hot fudge and, of course, whipped cream. The overall result was utterly irresistible. We shared the sundae and also ordered the above- mentioned Cookie Plate… A fabulous combo.

JG Sky High also offers an intriguing collection of cocktails – Cucumber Martini: Bluecoat Gin, Cucumber, Mint, Lemon, $19.00; Kumquat Mojito: Plantation “Three Star” Rum, Kumquat, Mint, Citrus, $18.00; Ginger Margarita: El Destilador Reposado Tequila, Contreau, Ginger and Lime, $18.00; just to name a few – as well as an eclectic selection of wines by the glass. The 2018 Eugen Müller “vom Basalt” Riesling Kabinett, $15.00, for example, is a very nice off-dry white from the Pfalz region of Germany. On the other hand, if you prefer red, the 2017 Gramercy Cellars “Lower East” Cabernet, $25.00, from Washington State’s Columbia Valley, is definitely worth a try.

The view, of course, is spectacular… Nothing quite stimulates the appetite like gazing down upon the City of Brotherly Love from Mt. Olympus. And the excellent service adds a great deal to your dining experience as well. As I mentioned in my review of Jean-Georges Philadelphia, it’s not as formal as the Jean-Georges New York flagship, but it is just as professional and also benefits from a decidedly personal touch.

Bon Appétit!

Be Safe & Stay Well


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