Jônt is located on the upper floor of Bresca and has a counter for just 14 persons and offers a surprise tasting menu only. They have 2 seatings each evening and are closed on Mon and Tues. Chef Ryan Ratino recently received his second Michelin star for the place that opened in Sept. of 2020 and is trying to take the diner on a culinary journey (Jônt). Where Bresca and the small stairway up are dimly lit the tasting counter room is bright with a light concrete counter and lots of stainless steel in the kitchen. Music is in the background and minimal art is on the walls but the place has lots of staff. They offer levels of wine pairings for the meal and had to email the menu to me as it is not printed to give out. They also offered a white truffle option for a $300 upcharge (which we passed on).
The tasting started with a tart filled with Hokkaido salmon, their roe and beets. The crust was made with rye. The Japanese salmon was very good and the shell ultra thin and crisp. It was good.
The next tart was filled with beef tartare with dashi and topped with malosol caviar. Another very thin shell was stuffed with yummy things. Very good.
A potato pancake was topped with dry-aged dairy cow and smoked onion marmalade. This one had a soft bottom that made it gooier which contrasted with the fried crisp onion strings. It was another really good bite.
A foie gras doughnut was glazed with miso and filled with concord grape jelly. I love donuts and foie gras and this one didn’t disappoint. It was great.
A pause for a wipe on a labeled moist towel.
Grilled Akashi uni, buttermilk and herbs were with red sea bream. The fish was lightly cooked and the skin was crisped perfectly and decorated with a strip of scallion. The lovely Japanese uni was great with the herby sauce and all ingredients blended together to make an even better whole than the individual wonderful parts.
Bluefin tuna was topped with reserve caviar and badgerflame beet in a vadouvan curry sauce. The amazing sauce was lovely with the nice fish and delicious caviar. Perfectly cooked, assembled and coordinated, it was another really good one.
Dungeness Crab was with koshiibuki rice, truffle and cultured butter. Maitake mushroom was mixed with the rice cooked in a special pot and some crab butter then topped with Burgundy (black winter) truffle. This is a new item on the menu. The rice mixture was excellent but the truffle had limited fragrance and taste, even though freshly sliced. No matter, another good one.
Preserved sun gold tomato and raspberry was with lemon verbena and herbs. A bit of jelly added a sweet contrast to the acidic tomato. It was a dish of wonderful contrasts resulting in a great combination.
Kagoshima A5 Wagyu cap meat was with black truffle purée and matsutake. The beef butter meat was lovely with the sticky thick sauce and salty truffle butter. Everything else on the plate just served as a decoration to the fabulous beef.
Pâte de Fruit was made with roasted pineapple and espelette pepper. This was an amazing flavor explosion in the mouth of sweet and tart flavors.
The next course had several parts – La Belle Farms Barbarie Duck with sauce a la royale, duck sausage with mustard and Asian pear and bone and buckwheat broth. The duck was dry aged for 21 days and the sauce was made on a press that produced something wonderfully flavored. The duck was tender and cooked a nice medium rare. Japanese milk bread was a roll to nicely pair with everything. The duck leg was made into a smoked sausage served with delicious pear slices and mustard. It was wonderful. The broth was more meat flavored with the buckwheat not the dominant flavor. It was a great course filled with fun combinations of intense flavors.
Next we had to move rooms and be re-seated in the lounge area. This is brilliant as it allows the staff to clean up without guest having to watch and then prepare for the next seating. The first dessert went back the ‘tart’ beginnings. Banana tart with caramel and benne miso was on a crisp shell. It was sweet and nice.
Amazake Kakigori was with milk and citrus. Some marshmallow and fermented rice combined with kumquat for a great pile of fun. It was ground through the machine pictured below.
Dark chocolate and Matcha “Forest” was made with a matcha ‘grass’, meringue ‘mushroom’ and a chocolate log filled with ice cream. The matcha was crispy and alongside was a cup of matcha tea that was to be sipped alternately with the solids. Lots of textures here and plenty of sweet. A good dessert.
The Box comes to each table and is filled with treats in every drawer. There was yuzu, chocolate and pistachio flavors in one drawer and another held bonbons of raspberry & marshmallow, strawberry & hazelnut and passion fruit & coffee. Some madeleines in the top drawer finished the treat-fest. They varied in goodness but there was certainly something for everyone.