REVIEW #60

The Exchange at the Setai

In June of 2009, the eponymously-named SHO Shaun Hergatt opened on the 2nd floor of the Setai condominiums in the Financial District and long remained one of NYC’s most consistently underrated restaurants until in 2012 the immensely talented Mr. Hergatt left, seeking a more suitable (and centrally located) platform for his ambition.  Accordingly, Mr. Hergatt’s former partner rebranded the restaurant as The Exchange at the Setai Wall Street, hired SHO-veteran Josh Capone to man the kitchen and guided the menu in a more affordable, New American direction.  They have wisely elected to retain the gorgeous Southeast-Asian inspired design of SHO, which is sleek, contemporary and theatrical.  The 12,500 square foot space includes a dramatic front bar and lounge area with walls accoutered in black and red Thai silk and an infinity-edge pool.  A long corridor of glass-encased wines with a low reflecting pool running down the center leads to a brilliantly lit main dining room in a palette of muted browns and reds, featuring a glassed-in open kitchen and slatted dark tropical woods.  It offers a quiet and luxurious setting for a business lunch or a romantic date. 

The cuisine at The Exchange is nowhere near as refined or elaborate as it was at SHO, but that is intentional, and it is still very fine indeed.  There are some true homeruns as well, in particular the smoked five minute egg with parsnip galette, parsnip purée and sage.  Capone has experience baking, and the breads and focaccia are now made in-house.  The service remains excellent and the wine list is still formidable (there is currently an outstanding Alsatian Riesling available by the glass from Hugel for $13).  The Exchange at the Setai Wall Street remains, as SHO Shaun Hergatt was before it, the best restaurant in the Financial District.

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INFORMATION

Financial District
40 Broad St.
New York (at Exchange Pl.)
(212) 809-3993
Mon-Fri, noon-2pm, 5:30pm-9:30pm, Sat, 5:30pm-9:30pm
    Josh Capone, Chef
    Alise Ciucci, Pastry Chef

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