Last night Gourmet Magazine and Editor-in-Chief-Aunt Ruth Reichl threw a party to introduce the world to Thompson LES restaurant, Shang, and its chef, Susur Lee. The chefs, all of them, were there; the media, lots of them, were there; Singapore slaw, way too much of it, was had by all.
As for the venue, they've finished the place off since our last walk through. The aesthetic is a bit cool-cold, save those striking light fixtures, but seems to fit the modern feel of the rest of the hotel. Have a look yourself at the above gallery, some of the first looks at the soon-to-open restaurant (latest pr check: opens to public second week of December). For some hangover observations, read on.
1) For the most part, the food was impressive for a new restaurant catering to a massive crowd. It didn't stand up to a more intimate tasting Lee held month ago, but if the economy doesn't screw him Susur Lee is going to get it done here.
2) 11:30 PM roll call: Rocco Dispirito, Josh DeChellis, Tom Colicchio, David Chang, Paul Liebrandt, Franklin Becker, Drew Nieporent, Bobby Flay with the stunning Stephanie March, Craig Hopson, Cesare Casella (in the most colorful outfit of the night), Chris Lee, and the cherubic Daniel Boulud, who along with Liebrandt, was whisked away on a tour of the kitchen shortly after arriving.
3) The quotable Drew Nieporent: "There are more Nobu 57 servers here than at Nobu 57."
For the menu and full PR story, here's the tipsheet.