The financial district in New York is devoid of many desirable places to eat. This is an area with rich businessmen and women who have money to burn. At least they can dine at Crown Shy, a stunning venture from Chef James Kent, formerly of Eleven Madison and The Nomad, and restauranteur Jeff Katz, formerly of Del Posto. It is set in a stunning landmark, an art deco building, on a quiet side street at 70 Pine Street (which is not easy for cabs or Uber to find).

The dining room is impressive in an understated way. The design is modern, with breathtaking high ceilings, sleek terrazzo floors, expansive windows, low-lit mood lighting and, leather and marble banquets. When you first enter from the striking lobby you will see the bar is the focal point.

They have earned a Michelin star but you will find that the service is warm and friendly and not stuffy, and casual enough for a weeknight date or dinner with a coworker, which we saw plenty of.

The menu had a lot of interesting choices and had bread service which is almost unheard of nowadays unless you request it. The pull-apart loaf comes stuffed with an olive tapenade and lemon zest. We chose the Gruyère fritters which were like a savoury churro stuffed with cheese and served with a lime chili sauce. This is a restaurant where they encourage sharing but you don’t have to follow along.

The roasted sunchokes with cheddar and hazelnuts was a fabulous dish, as were the charred carrots in a delicious coconut, chili, and yoghurt sauce. The romaine, with green goddess and topped with breadcrumbs made for a beautiful presentation. The cauliflower with Parmigiano and sherry was good but could have been fried even a little crisper. The ricotta agnolotti with maitake mushrooms and black truffles was tasty but there are dozens of other Italian restaurants in New York that make better pasta. The dorado (fish) with a mushroom purée and sunchoke XO sauce was fishy and salty and regrettably, I sent it back. A much better choice was the citrus-marinated chicken with a Crown Shy hot sauce. But for me where the kitchen really shines is at dessert.

I was enamored with the satsuma orange ice cream with honey and blanketed by a mound of toasted marshmallows was like a creamsicle on steroids. Another winner was the chocolate tart with stracciatella ice cream and sabayon.

The bar was packed and a real hangout once everyone got off of work. There was an extensive wine list and a lot of well-priced gems under $100. They also offered wines by the glass as well as interesting and flavour-inspired cocktail combinations.

I didn’t feel like Michelin star service to me. We had to pour our own water and try to flag down waitstaff as well. It also didn’t taste like a Michelin star restaurant. The food was satisfying and the presentations were nice but nothing knocked it out of the park. It was pleasant and an excellent choice if you work or live in the area. But, would I take another expensive Uber to come down here again? No.

Recommend if you work or live nearby.
Happy dining,
Shanea

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