April 10, 2014

The Coco Chanel-Inspired Beautique Is This Gorge New Restaurant In Midtown

Chanel is our everything, so when we heard new restaurant Beautique was aesthetically-inspired by our heroine and her style, we were like, sign us up. Immediately. Fittingly, the 125-seat spot is located right next to the Paris theatre. All we remember about that place is being yelled at for sitting in Audrey Tatou’s seat at the Coco Before Chanel premiere, which is um, coincidental. Also, PR lady, you PUT us in her seats! But we digress.

Down a mirrored staircase, Beautique is a sleek and elegant space of black lacquer, and rich velvet banquettes and touches of a really sick Jean Paul Gaultier tattoo-inspired fabric. Oh, that fabric. We just live for it. The soundtrack amplifies the 1920’s French vibe, with vintage jazz and soul classics at a discreet volume. And there’s a menu to match. It’s rare to come across a menu so full of classic dishes, and in a world where weird and adventurous can sometimes be kind of annoying, we love a classic. It’s chic.

You will not be confused by this menu. It’s elegant New American, done extremely well. Chef Craig Hopson was formerly Executive Chef at Le Cirque, so if this guy can’t serve you the dinner of your life, we don’t know who can. Highlights include duck breast with rhubarb bulghar, miners lettuce and sunchokes, sea scallops with foie gras sabayon, shitake and turnips in a Diablo sauce, and there’s a really great chicken breast cooked in lemon, saffron and mint and served with a little cube of steamed eggplant and shallots. The appetizers are equally as delish, and the presentation of the spring pea soup is so good you’ll want to pause right there and make a little video for ‘gramming. The bowl comes with just compte cheese dumplings and strategically placed peas, with the actual liquid poured right there at the table. We love a little food performance! The pear pepper mignonette to drizzle over the oysters is insanity, too. And the marinated big eye tuna is served with sesame cracker, clementines and an avocado tapenade, and it is insanity.

It would be utterly wrong to leave this place without having dessert, and take it from us, these are some of the best in the city. Jiho Kim came to Beautique from Gordon Ramsay at the London, and holy cannoli, the praline mousse roulade with financier tuile and brown butter almond ice cream will have you on the floor. Our other top recommendations are the banana bread pudding and a pineapple passion meringue served with tahini ice-cream and a crunchy black sesame almond sable, because everyone knows you 100% need to have a touch of crunch in your dessert. Oh, and just because this place looks mega-fancy, fine-dining style, let’s not get it twisted, the vibe is very relaxed and low-key, and so far seems to be drawing the downtown creative types, which we also like. Beautique opened for dinner last night, and opens for lunch on Monday, and we know you totally need someplace good around here to eat among like-minded individuals. Where else would you even think about going in midtown?

Beautique, 8 West 58th Street, New York, NY 10002 tel: (212) 753-1200 beautiquedining.com

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