Two of my co-workers and I decided to hit SHO Shaun Hergatt for a Restaurant Week lunch at the last minute, and their dress code was listed as “jacket preferred”, so I changed into a pair of open-toed red patent leather wedges from my usual flip-flops and hoped no one would notice my jeans and my co-worker’s t-shirt. It must have worked, because they let us in (and were even nice to us!). And I’m sure glad they did.
Our crusty rolls came with the usual butter but also this dip, which our server told us is one of the chef’s specialties. It had the consistency of mashed potatoes and tasted very fresh and citrusy, thanks to the yuzu.
carpaccio of black angus beef, fried capers, parmesan
I think this is the first time I’ve had fried capers, and I really enjoyed their crunch and their peppercorn-ish flavor. The presentation was so beautiful that my photographer friend, Anthony, had to take several shots of this of his own to mess around in Photoshop with. The texture of the beef was so buttery and tender it was as if it had been cooked for hours.
organic red and yellow beets, Sicilian pistachios, espelette
I may have ruined this dish by starting a glass of sake before I tasted it, because I couldn’t taste the sauce at all. It reminded me of mayonnaise in texture, but the only taste I got were from the earthy beets and the toasted nuts, which of course I loved, because those things are objectively good.
handmade porcini pappardelle
I think pappardelle is my favourite pasta. Thin yet broad, it soaks up flavor and doesn’t overpower other ingredients with breadiness like thicker pastas do. This dish was wonderfully creamy and umami-y, perfectly cooked and YUM.
char siu braised pork belly
But the pork belly was better. I know I’ve said it before at Craftbar and at Sakagura, but I’m just so impressed that it’s possible for someone to take a half-inch thick layer of fat and make it not only edible but craveable. It tastes as good as the pork itself. Raw apples mixed with the soft cooked vegetables, and the salty-sweet soy-infused sauce had seeped into every inch of that belly.
milk chocolate palet, yuzu chantilly, raspberries
I would be hard-pressed to call this milk chocolate if you asked me to describe it, because it was so dense and rich. The chocolate was substantial, too, creamy and whipped yet thick enough to stay on a fork. I admittedly didn’t taste the yuzu in the whipped cream, but the fresh raspberries were divine, as was the crumbly chocolate crust.
peach tarte tatin, mascarpone ice cream, pistachio crumble
I loved the thin, nutty wafer on top, but the whole point of the dessert was the peach, which was so intensely ripe and sweet. I didn’t get more than a taste of it, so I want to go back and order it for myself.
chocolate financier, passion fruit jellies
These were really better than either of the menued desserts. The spongey chocolate cake was buttery and piped with a hazelnut frosting-like cream. The caramelized hazelnut was . . . gah. I like to save the best thing on my plate for last, so I had left a bite of my chocolate palet behind, but I gulped it right down after I had the first bite of this.
The gummy was so sugary it might scare off lesser sweet tooths, but I loved the juxtaposition of the more savory financier with this. And I was mad that I had eaten more slowly than Nik and Anthony, because had I gotten to it first, I would’ve grabbed both of theirs, too.
The great thing about eating lunch here during Restaurant Week (which SHO is continuing through Labor Day, by the way!) is that they give you a $24 gift certificate to come back for dinner. Which means that this lunch was essentially free. So go.
SHO Shaun Hergatt
40 Broad Street
New York, NY 10004