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Another Forbes Travel Guide review: Chevalier

PHOTO: Main lobby of Chevalier courtesy of Forbes Travel Guide

My latest Forbes Travel Guide review published. You can read my thoughts on Chevalier, the restaurant of Baccarat Hotel and Residence at this link:

Full text below!


Forbes Travel Guide

After spending 250 years making exquisite crystals, French company Baccarat decided to delve into the hospitality industry and opened Baccarat Hotel and Residences and Chevalier restaurant in 2015 in a gleaming 50-story glass tower across from New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Named for one of Baccarat’s creative directors, the chic restaurant riffs on brasserie classics, giving them its trademark luxurious touch and artful presentation. The Decor Chevalier’s cavernously contemporary space is muted but infused with subtle flashes of pinks and purples. Famed designer Stephen Sills (whose work includes The Connaught in London and The St. Regis New York) chose a medley of beiges to offset the atmospheric artwork hung into the paneling, while fresh orchids and other floral varietals provide a whiff of the sweet outdoors. Comfortable chairs and banquettes line wide tables that are covered in ironed white tablecloths. Unlike the hotel, which sparkles with Baccarat crystals, Chevalier lets the French dishes serve as the gems in the dining room. In fact, the only Baccarat crystal you’ll find in here is the stemware. The Food Executive chef Shea Gallante (formerly of New York’s Cru, Bouley and Ciano) adds punches of colors in the French-inspired dishes. At dinner, start with the charcuterie and terrines platter, a housemade selection of Gallante’s favorites. Another popular appetizer is the lovely Japanese sea bass cru. Three pieces of slivered sea bass are surrounded by dots of grapes and layered with an almost decoupage of cilantro and citrus. Among the main courses, options vary from seafood (cod, lobster, sea bass) to traditional meats (pork loin, lamb and entrecote). The most-ordered entrée is the duck breast. Presented with baby turnips, lavender and medjool date puree, the duck is served medium rare without unnecessary sauces to drown out the fatty goodness. The medjool date lends a touch of sweetness. Speaking of meat, don’t miss the beef bourguignon, which is Gallante’s best dish. The French classic is simple yet rich, and one taste transports you to a brasserie in Paris. Close out the evening the chocolate soufflé from pastry chef David Carmichael, whose done stints at Le Bernadin, Daniel and the now-shuttered Gilt. Presented in a copper saucepan, the chocolate soufflé springs with the dexterity of an Olympic athlete before settling into a dense mixture of essentially molten chocolate. Every bite seems sinful. The New York City restaurant also serves lunch, offering smaller plates like a poached hen egg with spaghetti squash carbonara and parmigiano, and paté grand mere with meaux mustard, pickles and balsamic-cherry. For a more substantial lunch, opt for larger plates like diver scallops with parsley root purée, pastrami bacon and radishes, or risotto with fines herbes, Comté and caramelized cauliflower. There’s also a two-course lunchtime prix fixe where you choose an appetizer (selections include buffalo mozzarella with heirloom baby tomato, basil and baby arugula, and Dungeness crab salad with a cracker and pickled vegetable salad) and entrée (like a filet of cobia with sunchoke purée, marinated tomato salad with smoked bacon, or ricotta gnudi with Maine lobster, wild mushrooms, fennel emulsion). The Bar While there is a small bar in Chevalier, we recommend heading upstairs to the second-floor Les Boissons for a nightcap. Wooden floors covered in a hand-painted checkered pattern beautifully offset the merlot walls molded to resemble the interior of a wine container. Cheerful bartenders mix craft cocktails presented in the most impressive pieces of Baccarat tumblers while the petite outdoor terrace makes for a restful spot — especially when you have a vodka martini, slightly dirty, in hand.

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