We have been huge admirers of Shaun Hergatt since he first arrived in New York City in 2009 with his vastly underappreciated SHO Shaun Hergatt.  He has now attempted to remedy one of the principal flaws of the since-closed restaurant by opening Juni in Murray Hill rather than in the culinary tundra of the Financial District.  However, its location in the boutique Hotel Chandler on a quiet stretch near the periphery of Koreatown is perhaps not the most radical improvement one could hope for.  

The intimate 50-seat restaurant is oriented around seasonality (the name Juni is a derivation of the Latin word for June, or the heart of the harvest season).  Vegetables and grains take a central role (confusingly, the menu lists them before the principal ingredient in a dish), and the classically disposed chef has dropped much of the Asian inflections of SHO. 

The elegant monochromatism of the restaurant's design is deliberately in stark contrast to the vibrant colors of Chef Hergatt's platings.  His dishes exhibit some of the most creative and beautiful presentations in New York City.  And also some of the most delicious:  black bass slow-baked and served with potato fondant and a truffle sabayon and duck served with anise hyssop and hibiscus jus are nearly unimprovable.  But the best dish we've had is one that is not currently on the menu:  veal tenderloin served with quinoa, burdock, and hon shimeji mushrooms in a truffle emulsion.  Also impressive is the across-the-board consistency in the menu: nearly every dish is a success and one that I'd gladly order again, a rare feat even at the highest echelons of NYC dining.  


Read users' comments about this venue or post your own...


Midtown South
12 E. 31st St.
New York (nr. Fifth Ave.)
(212) 995-8599
    Shaun Hergatt, Chef
    Mina Pizarro, Pastry Chef