‘Gourmet' Offers a Sneak Peek at Shang

Last night, Gourmet gave us our first look at Susur Lee’s 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 d’oeuvres: 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 it’s 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 canapés 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 à 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

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