When we got close to our hotel we hit some major traffic. Sadly an accident occurred nearby where a car ran into several people. We were detoured all around the hotel never being allowed to turn right. We finally pulled up in front of the Hilton Millennium Downtown. The doorman helped us with our luggage and calling over the valet.
The lobby was small but nicely decorated. Our check in was easy and we were upgraded to a high floor room (thanks again Hilton Honors). Our room was a King room with plenty of room for the two of us and a good size bathroom. Our view was the stunning and moving sight of the 9/11 Memorial and One World Trade Center.
After lunch we walked up to the David Zwirner Gallery for the Yayoi Kusama exhibit. Score! The line isn't that long! After a 40 minute wait (which wasn't bad just cold) we entered the gallery. We waited inside for our turn to enter the 1st infinity mirror room. Afterwards we had to put booties on our shoes for the 2nd infinity mirror room. Our last stop was in the flower room. All in all we were probably inside the gallery for 5 minutes but it was a very cool 5 minutes that we'll always remember.
We are running out of time before our dinner reservations so we hopped into a cab and made our way back to the Hilton Millennium Downtown. Time to drop off our bags, freshen up and change clothes for dinner.
Jungsik is close to the hotel so we opted for a refreshing walk. We were greeted and our coats were taken for us before showing us to our table. I keep going back and forth on my feelings about our dinner at Jungsik. On one hand the service was incredibly slow to start. Our greeting, drink order, and food order took a good amount of time. From the time we sat down to the time we left we were at Jungsik for 3 hours.
We decided to drink cocktails along with dinner and the cocktails were well crafted. For dinner we chose the Signature Tasting Menu. The meal started with an amuse bouche which represented Korean side dishes. These small bites were a beautiful start to dinner. We enjoyed a variety the flavors, textures, and scents. Our 1st course was the OSETRA CAVIAR. The caviar was a good dish although not memorable. The 2nd dish was FOIE GRAS MANDOO (not dairy free so I decided to risk it with a lactaid pill). The Mandoo and the Japanese Wagyu were delicious but the star was the broth. The broth was scrumptious and satisfying. 3rd course was OCTOPUS. With it's perfect combination of crunchy exterior and tender inside this dish was outstanding. Our 4th dish was BLACK COD. Black Cod isn't usually my favorite but I found that this dish wasn't overly sweet so I enjoyed it. 5th dish was TUNA KIM BAP. This was probably the most inventive dish. The Kim Bap was rolled into a small cigar and was a wonderful taste and crunch. The 6th dish was GALBI. This dish confused me honestly. I still am not sure whether or not this was supposed to be served cold or not but it definitely was. I found it rather off putting and would have said something but there wasn't staff nearby. Next came OMIJA which means "five flavors", which are sweetness, sourness, bitterness, saltiness, and pungency. Enjoyable. The 8th dish was the start of dessert. Greg was given a Baby Banana which was actually a small pastry. Unfortunately, it didn't wow him. He felt the focus was more on the presentation that actual flavor. I was given Pears along with Pear Sorbet. As a person with a dairy allergy, there are two desserts which always disappoint me from a fine dining establishments; fruit or sorbets. Other restaurants with the same amount of notification have stepped up and presented pastries and/or composed dishes to me. In addition to this I have to ask, where was the Korean influence? I basically ended up with pears tossed with cinnamon and sugar. The 9th course was the ROASTED CHESTNUT. Greg was presented with a bowl of roasted chestnuts (for show) and a chestnut truffle to eat. Unfortunately, Greg felt it was truly lacking any chestnut flavor. I was given a different sorbet (not thrilled again). To end the meal we were given a small bowl of petit fours. Luckily these were a combination of sweet flavors and textures that saved the ending of our dinner.
We enjoyed most of dinner but in comparison to other like restaurants we agreed we wouldn't return.