SHO Shaun Hergatt, NYC


SHO Shaun Hergatt

Chef: Shaun Hergatt
Cuisine: Asian Fusion, French
Neighborhood: Financial District aka FiDi
Price: Lunch Prix Fixe: two course $27, three course $33.  Dinner Prix Fixe: four course $85, five course $100.  A la carte also available.
Phone: (212) 809-3993
Address: 40 Broad St. Lev8.35/8.60    9.25el 2, NYC 10004
Hours: Mon-Fri 7am-10pm; Sat 5:30pm -10pm

I had taken a day off work and for once decided to have a nice staycation in the city rather than absconding out of state.  It was the perfect opportunity to enjoy a proper sit-down lunch with a friend, which is something I would never be able to do on a regular work day.   As I had not actually had a birthday dinner last year, I decided to use this occasion to celebrate my very belated birthday and splurge a little bit.  I decided on SHO Shaun Hergatt as it had been on my wish list for quite a while.

Australian-born Chef Shaun Hergatt first opened SHO in 2009 and has received numerous accolades since then including two Michelin stars.  Shaun first garnered attention as the Chef de Cuisine of The Dining Room at the Ritz-Carlton in Sydney, after which he went on to work at Atelier in New York and then the Setai in Miami as the Executive Chef.  As a chef who has collected many “Best New Chef” and “Best New Restaurant” awards since his debut, Shaun has not disappointed his ardent followers and continues to exceed expectations.  The Asian-accented contemporary French cuisine served at his eponymous restaurant still draws praise even three years after opening, even during these times of financial woe where this behemoth of dining opulence should have fallen out of fashion.

“Opulence.  I has it.”

The restaurant is located on the second level of the Setai, a somewhat obscure condo development on Broad Street.  You enter a simple narrow hallway, take the elevators to the second floor, and emerge in another world of glitz and excess.  I half expected to see the Russian guy with his pygmy giraffe (most likely donning a proper business suit as tracksuits are discouraged attire here).  The expansive space is a breathtaking spectacle.  At the front is long and polished bar next to a plush lounge area that seems to evoke corporate power.  Leading to the dining room is a long, glimmering corridor of glass walls stocked with wines.  There is a sleek reflecting pool with candles down the center.  The decor is ornate but tasteful with striking Oriental touches.

As expected of the Michelin-starred restaurant, the service was impeccable and gracious.  They allowed us to dissect the prix fixe and a la carte menu with total freedom.  During the lunch, Chef Shaun came out to greet the diners, which is always a thrill (I am such a chef groupie)… his Aussie accent wasn’t too bad to listen to either.

Now, onto to the food.  After perusing the lunch prix fixe menu, we found ourselves more intrigued by the a la carte options (we had been salivating over the dinner menu online before we came).  The a la carte menu they provided was actually the dinner menu, and we were grateful they accommodated our requests.  My friend and I essentially shared a five course meal from the prix fixe dinner menu as we picked an item from each of the five sections.  My favorite dishes were the Slow Poached Knoll Krest Egg with Santa Barbara Sea Urchin and the Three Day Beef Cheek with Black Trumpets had the richest and most amazing sauce ever.  The dessert was one of the most memorable dishes for me as it was one of the most beautifully presented dishes I have seen and tasted.  The dessert I picked was actually from the lunch prix fixe menu; the minute I saw Lemon Panna Cotta with Olive Oil Streusel and Pomelo on the menu, I knew I had to try it.  It looked like a beautiful aquarium scene the way this dessert was constructed.

I would definitely go again for a special occasion or on the work expense account if possible… haha

BREAD

Potato Saffron Purée
The bread was served with this smooth purée of potato, saffron and chives seasoned with paprika

Vegetable Soup
This starter soup came as compliments of the chef.  I forgot what was exactly in this but it was fresh, creamy and delicious.

DINNER MENU

FIRST COURSE

Hudson Valley Foie Gras: Duck Skin Tuiles — Flavors of Apple
The duck skin was delectably rich and the hint of apple flavors accented the rich and creamy foie gras

SECOND COURSE

Slow Poached Knoll Krest Egg: Crunchy Black Rice and Santa Barbara Sea Urchin
Fantastic textures and the sea urchin was so fresh

THIRD COURSE

East Coast Flounder: Langoustine – Black Truffle Puree – Romanesco Cauliflower
Very dense and flavorful.  The black truffle puree was to die for.

FOURTH COURSE

Three Day Beef Cheek: Baby Leeks – Black Trumpets – Potato Leaves
The beef cheek was so rich and savory. We wanted to lap up the plate of all the sauce.

DESSERT

Lemon Panna Cotta: Olive Oil Streusel and Pomelo
The presentation of this was spectacular.  I didn’t want to disturb this beautiful aqaurium-esque picture.  Doesn’t it look like an underwater coral scene?  The taste did not disappoint.  Loved the olive oil streusel!  One of my favorite panna cottas in the city.

Lemon Meringue – Fennel Lemonade
This came as compliments from the chef and while it was very refreshing, we were much too full to finish it!

PETIT FOURS

Honeycomb Dipped in Chocolate
I thought this was absolutely genius!  So scrumptious and a great end to a fantastic meal


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