Last night, Gourmet gave us our first look at Susur Lees Shang, and we come bearing photos. Arriving stag: Sir Tom Colicchio. Also spotted: Floyd Cardoz, Bill Telepan, Paul Liebrandt, and Drew Nieporent. Hanging till last call: the ever-boisterous Cesare Cassella and another Lower East Side newcomer, Daniel Boulud. The place has a dim, modernist aesthetic that reminded our date of Ian Schrager as well as Garden of Ono (not inaccurate). A steep climb to the second floor puts you in a narrow barroom the relatively intimate dining room is tucked off to the side. Adjoining the bar is a lounge area and an outdoor terrace complete with a tent that has built-in speakers, a D.J. booth, and heat (Thompson Hotels honcho Jason Pomeranc told us the outdoor area, which resembles a mini Gansevoort rooftop, will be open during the winter).
The winning hors doeuvres: Perfect globes of foie gras mousse sitting atop green-onion pancakes and huckleberry jam; a Momofuku-like bowl of spicy braised veal cheeks, olive-preserved vegetable, sour cream, and rice porridge; and a rice chip piled with caramelized sable, miso mustard, and salmon caviar. Susur Lee, cracking beers for his line cooks after service (and offering leftovers to Akhtar Nawab upon meeting him for the first time), told us that he loves being in a real neighborhood, but we hate to break it to the chef we doubt its the neighbors who are going to be coming here. Lee says he plans to open the first week of December, and has just finalized the menu this weekend. In the meantime, here are the canaps that he prepared for the event, just to give a taste.
Sashimi of hamachi, pickled daikon, Japanese grapefruit juice, and soy
Foie gras mousse with green-onion pancakes and huckleberry jam
Duck la Chinoise with spiced nut chew
Caramelized sable, miso mustard, salmon caviar, and rice chip
Shrimp-stuffed Chinese doughnut, sweet-and-sour chile sauce
Mexican goat-cheese tart, black olive, red pepper, eggplant, & tomatillo
Crispy tofu with Thai basil pineapple and Phuket peanut sauce, mint-chile chutney
Garlic shrimp with soybean crumb, Indian tomato jam
Curried lamb chop with fried banana, carrot, and cardamom
Kung Pao oyster, black vinegar, chili oil, cucumber
Singapore slaw with salted apricot dressing
Spicy braised veal cheeks, olive-preserved vegetable and rice porridge