I came to SHO with two other friends after having not seen each other for months. I heard a lot of good things about this place and Restaurant Week gave me the perfect excuse to come try it out.
I fell in love with the decor the moment I entered the restaurant. Red and gold are one of my favorite color combinations (I used to live in an apartment building that was all red and gold too with a gorgeous red and gold lobby). The dining rooms looked so luxurious, so elegant, and so so sleek that I was utterly enthralled.
Upon making our selection, bread was served. There were olive, multi-grain, and ciabatta available. I chose the ciabatta, but immediately frowned upon trying to break the bread. Alas, the bread was terribly hard with an especially thick crust. My attempt to eat it was more like a vigorous jaw exercise. The bread actually stabbed my gum while I chewed. Ouch. However, the butter was wonderful.
1. Summer Tomatoes en Gelée (friend’s) – Jansal Valley African basil, white balsamic
This was a friend’s appetizer which she very much enjoyed. Her comment, “This is so good and I don’t even know what I’m eating. The gelly is so cool.” Whatever it was, she approved! The salad certainly looked beautiful. The vibrant colors of the tomatoes, the pureed basil, the gelly, and the edible flowers turned this dish into a work of art.
2. 64 Degree Knoll Krest Egg (mine) – Maine peekytoe crab, haas avocado, truffle crème
Oh, how pretty! A perfectly poached egg (done at 64 degrees of course) perched atop a piece of toast stuffed with avocado. Nestled against the egg was a mound of peekytoe crab meat, with the truffle cream sauce in foam form off to the side. The entire dish was garnished by edible flower petals. The yellow flower petals resembled a bright and happy summer skirt. I was almost reluctant to break into the egg because the dish looked so lovely. But broke into the egg I did, oooooooh the luscious yolk oozed out sensuously. I scooped up bits of the crab meat along with some luscious yolk, a bit of the beautiful flower petals, and a little of the truffle cream sauce. I couldn’t help but to break into a smile. A happy savory sunshine on a plate was exactly what this dish was.
3. Berkshire Pork Belly (friends') – sprouted lentils, black mustard, banyuls jus
The pork belly dish looked very impressive, check out the two large slabs of pork belly! I’m happy to report that the cut came with plenty of meat, rather than all fat. I sampled a small piece off my friend’s plate. Whoa, intensely porky! The pork was braised in a soy sauce based concoction and tasted very familiar and comforting to me. Though, I wish the meat part was more tender, it was a bit chewy for my taste (should have been on lower heat during the sauce reduction step). My friends also would have preferred if there had been more vegetables to help offset the richness of the pork belly.
4. Petuna Farms Ocean Trout (mine) – saffron leek soubise, kalamansi dressing
This! Was absolute heaven! The best dish of the evening for sure. The fish was cooked perfectly, with a delectable crispy skin and flavorful and tender flesh. I could have just eaten the fish on its own, honestly. But the sauce! That gorgeous bright yellow saffron sauce topped by caviar and leek was simply sublime! It was smooth and creamy (but still very light), with a slight hint of tanginess and a luscious underlying savoriness that I’m at a loss of words to describe. The sauce was completely, absolutely incredible! It paired perfectly with the fish. It and the fish were soulmates in this dish. Soulmates! The sauce elevated the dish to a divinely pleasurable experience. Just thinking about it now sends me into rapture. *sighs*
5. Summer Berry Trifle (mine) – Vermont Creamery fromage blanc ice cream
The perfect dessert. Bright and refreshing berries surrounded a trifle, with a spoonful of ice cream set on top. Not only was the dish pleasing to look at, it was a pleasure to eat as well. As a fan of fresh fruits in desserts (and fresh fruits period), I felt it hit just the spot. Fantastic.
6. Petit Fours – almond milk chocolate, lime meringue macaron
Delicious! I love chocolate and almond combinations, so there’s no way I wouldn’t like the almond chocolate here. The lime meringue macaron actually served as a great palate cleanser. The lime-ness was excellent for restoring flavor neutrality in my mouth.
What a phenomenal meal! I think I made really excellent choices with my selections this time. Everything was perfectly to my taste. It was just marvelous! The restaurant must have enjoyed having us as guests and wanted us to stay longer because after we finished eating, we couldn’t find our server to give us the check. :) So we lingered for more than half an hour chatting post-meal until we finally spotted our server. The bill was paid and happily sated (and me still dreaming about the trout dish), we took our leave of the restaurant. I thoroughly enjoyed our walk back through the dazzling wine rack lobby and stepping into the elevator, I stepped back into reality.
SHO Shaun Hergatt
40 Broad St, New York, NY 10004