It’s Tuesday, So SHO me…

juni room
Juni Restaurant

SHO me and he did.

This week’s eating excursion takes us to Shaun Hergatt’s new Murray Hill dining destination, Juni in the Hotel Chandler. Juni is Latin for June, meaning the heart of the season.

Hergatt, who now cooks under the ESquared Hospitality flag, closed his eponymous 2 star Michelin restaurant, SHO in the Setai Hotel near Wall Street last year. His new venture is a much more intimate space, bathed in soothing and gracious shades of gray with photographs of the vegetables they often serve, adorning the walls. The new location is a bit funky, as well, but the area, close to the Empire State Building, has recently received a huge shot in the arm from the Ace Hotel and Nomad Hotel and restaurant.

The 50-seat restaurant seduces you into a mellow eating state. There is great attention to detail, including the domed ceiling inspired by a Portuguese restaurant, large pottery plates that reside on the table and are handmade in upstate New York, beautifully crafted tables, leather and velvet banquettes, and a beamed ceiling dining room. It features a seasonally evolving menu.

The food is exquisite to gaze upon and amazing to consume. This is a special occasion celebration, a business meal with the goal of impressing.

The bread is freshly baked accompanied by Vermont made butter that is rich and creamy. A silver pot of olive tapenade is placed on the table and is a perfect mate for the crunchy French baguette.

tapenade
Olive Tapenade

The reasonably priced lunch menu changes weekly. The dinner menu has already changed 10 times in a mere 4 weeks since Juni’s opening.

We ordered the 2 course lunch menu for $30. There is also a $35 3 course menu. We started with the Chef’s garden salad with squash purée and pumpkin seed powder. The greens were tender and delicate and so very flavorful…the salad was a display of subdued beauty.

salad
Chef’s Garden Salad

The other appetizer selection was a soup of amazing flavor. It was a sophisticated chicken soup, containing upstate chicken rillette, lamb’s quarter and pearl barley. The flavors were superb and the texture from the barley enticing. The presentation was lovely as they poured the puree from a dramatic height. Also on the menu, black mission figs, young beets and capra goat cheese.

soup
Pearl Barley Soup

The main course options consisted of Berkshire pork cheek with steel cut oats and toasted pine nuts and maritake mushrooms with grilled burdock and burgundy clove. Our choice was the crispy skin Branzino with carrot purée and nasturtium. The dish was visually and gastronomically divine. I could have licked my plate clean!

branzino
Crispy Skin Branzino

We passed on desserts (pine, yogurt, rum fig, chocolate and sweet potato treat and pastry chef’s Mina Pizarro’s seasonal sorbets), but they did present beet twist coated with fresh coconut and a fig infused beignet coated with poppy seeds which was a lovely, unique finish to an exquisite meal.

dessert1

Dinner offers 4, 6 and 10 courses ranging from $90-$180.

Juni in the Hotel Chandler 12 East 31st Street NYC. Open daily from 7am-10:30pm.

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Juni

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