Shang, 190 Allen St.,
Initial Projection: Fashion Week
Current Debut Projection: The latest from PR reps, "Three weeks"
Odds, On Time Arrival: Even
Eater Projected Opening Date: 11/07/08
Lower East Side: We may say a lot of things are the biggest openings of the fall (Shake Shack for one, the whole Bouley empire, etc.), but the arrival of Toronto's famed Susur Lee is something that veterans of the food scene both here and in Canada are no question looking forward to. His new restaurant Shang in the newly opened Thompson LES is scheduled to open in approximately three weeks, but to get a sense of what's in store we got a little walk through and had a chat with Chef Lee.
Before we get to the space, we should mention that food from Shang has indeed been consumed. At a champagne tasting held by the hotel last Friday, we (and Bret Thorn) sampled a handful of bites from the chef including hamachi with pickled daikon, crispy tofu with pineapple and Thai basil, duck with candied walnut, "Singapore slaw," lobster and crab croquettes, seared tuna in ponzu, and a tart with Mexican goat cheese. Similar dishes were served last night when the restaurant hosted a private event for none other than Madonna, but there's no guarantee any of the dishes will make it onto the final menu. According to the chef, it's still very much a work in progress.
As for the space, it looks a bit raw right now, but once the floors are done and the furniture uncovered, there will be a totally finished restaurant here. Entering the space from the lobby stairs, guests filter into an upper lobby—much like at sister hotel 60 Thompson— where there will be a small bar and, around the corner, the main bar of Shang. Two-tops will line the sides of the room and the bar, with additional seating outside. The main dining room is smaller than expected, just a box with long windows on one end, but apparently all-in we've got room for about 160 seats here. Since we weren't able to get a full shot of the dining room (places like this always have exclusives with this and that and the other), it still requires a bit of imagination.
While we didn't get the chandeliers, we do have some insights from chef Susur Lee on the project. See part two of our tour to find out what took him so long to get to New York, where he eats in the city, and more.
· Canadian Chef Coming to LES [~E~]
· Thompson LES [Official Site]