Wrong time, right place. That’s how planetjess sizes up SHO Shaun Hergatt, an ambitious newcomer not far from Wall Street. “It arrived right in the middle of most of us freaking right the heck out and not so much in the mood to drop $18 on an appetizer and $30 on an entree at lunch,” she notes. “However. It also arrived right in the middle of a neighborhood without a single credible, truly high-end dining option if you don’t want steak.”

So its prix fixe lunch, three courses for $30, is just what the neighborhood needed. jess’s recent snapshot: Gazpacho was a fresh and hearty rough purée, lent textural variety by a delicate crouton and strands of tomato gelée. Pearl barley risotto was delicious, firm to the bite, full of hen-of-the-woods mushrooms. It was also bedecked with foam—a tad anachronistic, she suggests: “I was tempted to call 2003! on it, but the foam subsided quickly and lovingly and mushroomingly into the risotto.” Dessert was a perfectly summery peach soup, dotted with sorbet and bits of other fruits. “Expensive, ambitious, elegant, edgy, sleek,” jess sums up, if not quite “the second coming of Jean Georges or Per Se or Daniel.”

Dinner, too, is moderately priced for the high end at $55 for two courses and $69 for three. famdoc describes a fabulous meal highlighted by a zucchini blossom stuffed with blue prawns and poached halibut with celeriac-truffle foam. Elaine Snutteplutten reports memorably delicious caviar beggar’s purses, kampachi with raw geoduck, and salmon with small Japanese mushrooms in an herb-scented broth. “For me, it’s not one of the very best in the city (in luxury restaurant category),” she adds, “but it’s directly behind them (very very good) and a fraction of the price at the moment.”

SHO Shaun Hergatt [Financial District]
In the Setai New York, 40 Broad Street (at Exchange Place), Manhattan

Board Link: SHO Shaun Hergatt—Terrific at Twice the Price

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