A Note from Chef Jean-Louis:
After nearly thirty wonderful years in Greenwich, I have accepted the position of Vice President of Culinary Operations and Executive Chef at the New England Culinary Institute (NECI) in Montpelier, Vermont. This is an extraordinary opportunity for me at an outstanding teaching school for talented young chefs. I will be able to use all of my management skills and experience at NECI, both coaching the talented chef/instructor force and continuing to innovate in French cuisine.
I first came to Greenwich for Guy Savoy in 1983. The restaurant on Lewis Street became Restaurant Jean-Louis in 1985. Greenwich is our home and our two children have grown up here. For at least the next year I will be spending most weekdays in Vermont and weekends in Greenwich where we will keep our home.
“The wine list – and the staff’s knowledge of it – is superb,
and the details of hospitality, starting with well-set tables in a
(50 seats) intimate dining room, make this one of the
most pleasurable dining experiences in America.”
Recipient: LA TOQUE D’ARGENT
des MAITRES CUISINIERS DE FRANCE
The Silver Toque from The Master Chefs of France 2009
Since opening in 1985, Restaurant JEAN-LOUIS has earned a reputation as perhaps the finest restaurant in Connecticut, and one of the best in the United States. Recognized by Wine Spectator for more than twenty years for its excellent wine list, and consistently given top ratings by Zagat (best deal in CT, 2012) and newspapers from the New York Times to the San Diego Chronicle, Restaurant JEAN-LOUIS is simultaneously noted for its fine cuisine and utter lack of pretense. Chef Jean-Louis Gerin was given his food “Oscar” when announced as the Best Chef, Northeast at the 2006 James Beard Awards.
Jean-Louis and his wife Linda, the general manager (“Zee Boss”), see to every detail of your dining experience. From the first amuse bouche to the last glass of eau de vie, rest assured you will enjoy the same unsurpassed quality of food and service you have come to expect from the Gerin Team.
As a chef, Jean-Louis’ brilliance lies in his extraordinary ability to innovate classic French cuisine using ingredients from around the globe. Throughout his thirty six years as a chef, Jean-Louis has developed his own style, one that he refers to as “la nouvelle classique.” It is a full-flavored cuisine, one based on complex stocks, emulsions and reductions seasoned with Jean-Louis’ uncompromising taste for quality ingredients.
As manager, Linda Gerin is dedicated to offering her guests attentive yet subtle service in the style of the finest European establishments. Her staff is professional and courteous, efficient yet friendly, without ever being too familiar.
The best way to fully experience the creativity of Chef Jean-Louis is with his Menu Dégustation. This five-course tasting menu is crafted to excite the imagination and evoke the senses while exploring a broad range of the day’s special offerings. Other menus include a Vegetarian and vegan selection and a Ballade Gourmande 3 course Menu with choices.
A la carte offerings are always available.
La cuisine classique is featured each day with a “special Bourgeois dish”
In 2011 a new “chef-Bar” is open across the kitchen for more impromptu visits to JEAN-LOUIS.
Jean-Louis & Linda have always been one step ahead of the times, and are constantly updating Restaurant JEAN-LOUIS’ food and decor. Over the years, the Gerins have enlarged the dining room to accommodate fifty guests, installed an antique pressed tin ceiling and modern lighting, designed signature place settings and custom glassware, and with the help of their artist friends, arrange for the most exquisite art display by world-renowned French artists.
“Over the past 29 years, my cuisine has matured into a unique style of Modern French. This richly flavored cuisine is complex yet light, and the cooking method uses elaborate techniques and the latest technologies with a constant respect for my classical training.”
Chef Jean-Louis Gerin was born in 1957 in the French Alps, in the Haute- Savoie town of Annecy.
His fondest childhood memories are of Sunday’s gathering when his father (an amateur Chef who claimed HE was the real chef of the family) would cook and experiment in the kitchen. Jean-Louis’ grandfather, also an amateur cook, was well known for his gigantic family reunions of more than 150 Gerins assembled for the pure joy of sharing a meal together.
It was then that young Jean-Louis Gerin knew he would become a chef and continue the family tradition of cooking.
When his family moved to Talloires, the young aspiring cook met François Bise, the owner and chef of the Michelin three-star Auberge du Père Bise. Jean-Louis asked the great chef for a summer job, and at the ripe old age of thirteen was given the duty of drying the Baccarat glassware. Within a few short weeks, Jean-Louis graduated to making the espresso and the vinaigrette, as well as arranging the petits fours and preparing the famous “berries and sherbet tray,” a signature course at Père Bise. Today, Linda and Jean-Louis never miss an occasion to revisit the Auberge (and neither should you).
After he finished this preliminary education, Jean-Louis went to l’Ecole Hôtelière de Thonon Les Bains in 1973, where he received formal restaurant training and a degree in business. Following this fine education, Jean-Louis returned to Auberge du Père Bise to continue his apprenticeship. There he began all over again, peeling potatoes at the feet of the master chef.
As a budding cuisinier, Jean-Louis was fortunate to work at two three-star establishments in France: Père Bise and Oustau de Beaumanière. In 1978, he went to an exciting new restaurant in Paris, Barrière de Clichy, where he met Guy Savoy, who would become his mentor and lifelong friend. Two years later the duo opened RESTAURANT GUY SAVOY on the Rue Duret in Paris, where Jean-Louis became Savoy’s Chef de Cuisine in charge of purchasing and staff.
The “New” RESTAURANT GUY SAVOY is located on Rue Troyon and is Linda & Jean-Louis favorite Parisian Restaurant. (It also garnered its third Michelin star in 2004.)
The rest, as they say, is history: Guy Savoy ventured to the United States, and in 1983 opened a chic French restaurant in Greenwich, Connecticut. In 1984, Jean-Louis joined him, and by 1985, had agreed to purchase the restaurant, renaming it Restaurant JEAN-LOUIS.
In 1986 Jean-Louis married Linda Chardain, daughter of the well known restaurateur René Chardain, and the two have enjoyed steady growth in their restaurant business from the very beginning. Bryan Miller, former restaurant critic for the New York Times, was quick to recognize Restaurant JEAN-LOUIS as “a personal favorite’ when it first appeared: “Like all great chefs,” said Mr. Miller, “[Jean-Louis] recognizes that tastes and eating habits change…he has always been a step ahead of his customers” (On the Menu, New York Times, 1995). In 2011, the New York Times re-review JEAN-LOUIS with another raving review.
In 1991 Jean-Louis was honored by his older peers in receiving the title of MAITRE CUISINIER DE FRANCE, recognizing his work and ability to train the upcoming generation of chefs.
In January 2001 Jean-Louis received the medal of Chevalier du Mérite Agricole from the French Government, honoring him for his work in promoting French Culinary Arts in the United States.
Im July 2011, Jean-Louis received the medal of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres.
In May 2005 a complete transformation of the dining room marked the beginning of the next 20 years of JEAN-LOUIS, and the opening of JLToGo catering by JEAN-LOUIS, a full-service event planning and catering company.
2013- Linda and Jean-Louis are announcing a major change for the restaurant’ 30th anniversary … keep posted.
In May 2006, after thirteen nominations, Jean-Louis was awarded the esteemed title of Best Chef, Northeast by the James Beard Foundation, recognizing his achievement, talent and creativity in the world of cuisine.
In April 2012, Jean-Louis becomes “Champion” of the Food-Network CHOPPED challenge.