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CROWN SHY

BEST NEW BISTRO

CROWN SHY

SHORTLISTED BY BISTRONAUT #7

WHO
Two high-end heavy hitters have struck out on their own: Chef James Kent was most recently the chef de cuisine in the kitchens of Eleven Madison Park and the Nomad, while partner Jeff Katz is simultaneously a managing partner at Del Posto. They’re confident, and it shows in every element of their polished restaurant.

FOOD
This is fine-dining food that’s been slightly loosened up — like someone wearing a T-shirt with ironed jeans and $500 sneakers. (See VIBE, below.) The techniques are hyper-precise, but the wide-ranging inspirations and attention to the seasons reveal curiosity, modernity and a muffled sense of humor. Start with a snack of Gruyère fritters — actually an ephemerally light churro that doesn’t ooze cheese; it exudes it — created by pastry chef Renata Ameni (Manresa, Eleven Madison Park), or perhaps some creamy white bean hummus with spicy ‘nduja and puffs of bread. The menu is more about seasonable small plates than entrees (of which there are only four). In late summer, that might mean sharing light, bright red snapper crudo with watermelon and lemon verbena; a tangle of summer beans with jammy plums and toasted pistachio; rich, cheese-filled caramelle pasta with corn and chanterelles; and a few quail legs with freekeh and summer squash. If you’re the more-is-more type, go all in for the dramatically presented short rib for two, a tidy row of rare, boneless slices accompanied by a casserole of potato foam hiding braised, a zippy chimichurri, and a little casserole of quinoa. At lunch, the $45 menu offers three courses and gets you out the door in under an hour — worth crossing the city for.
Our biggest obsession at Crown Shy? Ameni’s desserts, such as a perfectly composed scoop of Satsuma orange ice cream with a toasted meringue cap, surrounded by airy honeycomb candy, or a not-very-New-York-style yogurt cheesecake with a cherry sorbet center and pistachio crumble.

DRINKS
Crown Shy might be one of New York’s blingiest openings of the year, but it also happens to have one of the best-priced wines-by-the-glass list, with adventurous glasses starting at $15 and topping out at $28 for Champagne. The cocktails are both thoughtful and extensive, ranging from a group of “sessionable” (i.e., not too boozy) long drinks, such as gin with wheatgrass, lavender, soda and ginger, to a shaken concoction of mezcal and rum with spicy togarashi, mango, and lime. Not boozing? There are nice nonalcoholic drinks, too.

DÉCOR
It’s all about masters of the universe down here in the Financial District, whether they’re the Gotham type evoked by the 1932 Art Deco skyscraper on the ground floor of which the restaurant is housed, or the long, glossy bar and high-ceilinged, 120-seat dining rooms. No opportunity for luxe customization was left untouched. Here, it’s all about coppery leather, blond wood, dark steel, and brass orb lighting. The banquettes are trimmed with banker-green marble. Even the intricate woodwork in the restrooms screams money — not to mention the gallery of black-and-white photographs in the sleek hallway leading up to them.

SEATING
The two dining rooms offer many seating options and configurations, whether it’s a two-top along the banquette, a round table for four in the center, or a larger grouping for parties. The long bar can also be a good option for dining. The only complaint is that the tabletops along the banquettes are too deep for easy conversation.

NOISE
Manageable, though less so when you’re seated three feet away from your dining companion along the banquette. (See above.)

VIBE
While the crowd is mostly young bankers and the women who leave their Soulcycle classes early to have a drink with them, and the grand proportions of the space makes it feel special-occasion, ultimately this is an approachable restaurant with seriously delicious food that doesn’t take itself as seriously as it initially seems. Once you taste the food, the money bros magically evaporate into the Gotham mist.

SERVICE
Confident, relaxed and friendly.

WOULD RECOMMEND
Highly, on the basis of its food (and dessert!). However, for those who lament Manhattan’s loss of creative soul, either shield your eyes as you walk past the bar, or hop the nearby ferry to Brooklyn.

WHO
Two high-end heavy hitters have struck out on their own: Chef James Kent was most recently the chef de cuisine in the kitchens of Eleven Madison Park and the Nomad, while partner Jeff Katz is simultaneously a managing partner at Del Posto. They’re confident, and it shows in every element of their polished restaurant.

FOOD
This is fine-dining food that’s been slightly loosened up — like someone wearing a T-shirt with ironed jeans and $500 sneakers. (See VIBE, below.) The techniques are hyper-precise, but the wide-ranging inspirations and attention to the seasons reveal curiosity, modernity and a muffled sense of humor. Start with a snack of Gruyère fritters — actually an ephemerally light churro that doesn’t ooze cheese; it exudes it — created by pastry chef Renata Ameni (Manresa, Eleven Madison Park), or perhaps some creamy white bean hummus with spicy ‘nduja and puffs of bread. The menu is more about seasonable small plates than entrees (of which there are only four). In late summer, that might mean sharing light, bright red snapper crudo with watermelon and lemon verbena; a tangle of summer beans with jammy plums and toasted pistachio; rich, cheese-filled caramelle pasta with corn and chanterelles; and a few quail legs with freekeh and summer squash. If you’re the more-is-more type, go all in for the dramatically presented short rib for two, a tidy row of rare, boneless slices accompanied by a casserole of potato foam hiding braised, a zippy chimichurri, and a little casserole of quinoa. At lunch, the $45 menu offers three courses and gets you out the door in under an hour — worth crossing the city for.
Our biggest obsession at Crown Shy? Ameni’s desserts, such as a perfectly composed scoop of Satsuma orange ice cream with a toasted meringue cap, surrounded by airy honeycomb candy, or a not-very-New-York-style yogurt cheesecake with a cherry sorbet center and pistachio crumble.

DRINKS
Crown Shy might be one of New York’s blingiest openings of the year, but it also happens to have one of the best-priced wines-by-the-glass list, with adventurous glasses starting at $15 and topping out at $28 for Champagne. The cocktails are both thoughtful and extensive, ranging from a group of “sessionable” (i.e., not too boozy) long drinks, such as gin with wheatgrass, lavender, soda and ginger, to a shaken concoction of mezcal and rum with spicy togarashi, mango, and lime. Not boozing? There are nice nonalcoholic drinks, too.

DÉCOR
It’s all about masters of the universe down here in the Financial District, whether they’re the Gotham type evoked by the 1932 Art Deco skyscraper on the ground floor of which the restaurant is housed, or the long, glossy bar and high-ceilinged, 120-seat dining rooms. No opportunity for luxe customization was left untouched. Here, it’s all about coppery leather, blond wood, dark steel, and brass orb lighting. The banquettes are trimmed with banker-green marble. Even the intricate woodwork in the restrooms screams money — not to mention the gallery of black-and-white photographs in the sleek hallway leading up to them.

SEATING
The two dining rooms offer many seating options and configurations, whether it’s a two-top along the banquette, a round table for four in the center, or a larger grouping for parties. The long bar can also be a good option for dining. The only complaint is that the tabletops along the banquettes are too deep for easy conversation.

NOISE
Manageable, though less so when you’re seated three feet away from your dining companion along the banquette. (See above.)

VIBE
While the crowd is mostly young bankers and the women who leave their Soulcycle classes early to have a drink with them, and the grand proportions of the space makes it feel special-occasion, ultimately this is an approachable restaurant with seriously delicious food that doesn’t take itself as seriously as it initially seems. Once you taste the food, the money bros magically evaporate into the Gotham mist.

SERVICE
Confident, relaxed and friendly.

WOULD RECOMMEND
Highly, on the basis of its food (and dessert!). However, for those who lament Manhattan’s loss of creative soul, either shield your eyes as you walk past the bar, or hop the nearby ferry to Brooklyn.

CHEFS

James Kent & Renata Ameni

OPENING DAYS

Every day for lunch (except Saturday and Sunday) and dinner.

RESERVATIONS

Recommendend a few days in advance for dinner, online or by phone.

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