Hortus NYC, the Michelin-recognized restaurant that continues to evolve its approach to modern Asian cuisine, has launched a new fall menu featuring dishes from newly appointed Executive Chef Youjin Jung (Del Posto, Osteria Mozza, DB Bistro & Oyster Bar, Boulud Sud).
Chef Jung has an impressive resume most recently serving as a Sous Chef at Boulud Sud in New York. But it was working in Singapore that really groomed her for the culinary journey ahead as it required extreme precision and focus in which she equates the experience to a boxing ring. Now at Hortus she is flexing her creativity to continue to further the restaurant’s highly regarded reputation, placing even more emphasis on some of the staple Korean ingredients, all plated in a modern and approachable style.
The new fall menu begins with select appetizers such as Pumpkin Soup, a creamy combination of kobocha and butternut squash with a cilantro espuma, served with grilled sourdough bread for dipping. The Autumn Salad is filled with roasted delicate squash, radicchio, Asian pear with parmesan cheese, drizzled with a pine nut dressing and red wine vinegar and adorned with fried parsley. Pan-seared scallops pan are served with cauliflower puree, roasted cauliflower, a housemade XO sauce and pickled grapes.
The Hortus Royal Platter features an array of selections from the sea including a whole lobster tail and shrimp, which are prepared in a court bouillon with white wine, lemon, garlic and carrot as well as tuna tataki, and oysters with a plum vinaigrette and ikura, all served with a clarified butter and crushed pink pepper corn mixture, and cocktail sauce.
For entrées the chef recommends the Duck, which makes its first appearance on the menu since the restaurant’s inception with an ode to the duck l’orange recipe and represents Korean “slow cooking” with glaze (syrup) made of mu (daikon). It is dressed with sliced candied kumquats and pickled crones, and charred scallions with a foie gras sauce. Spicy Braised Short Rib is the embodiment of an autumn dish and served with Chinese pearl barley risotto and Asian pear gremolata. Still available is a Hortus favorite, the Truffle Donabe, black truffle, wild mushrooms and cured egg yolk, that can be complemented with hanger steak or wagyu.
The name Hortus is derived from the Latin word for garden and this aesthetic runs through the entire restaurant. The upstairs dining space in which guests will sit six feet apart with all staff wearing masks, features hunter green walls, silver-blue velvety chairs and comfy round banquets. Apart from the main dining room, the second floor showcases a hidden garden oasis complete with propane heat lamps and lights hanging above for a warm and intimate glow in the evening. Umbrellas are available for those unexpected rain showers.
Hortus NYC is located at 271 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016, 646-858-3784, www.hortusnyc.com, and is open for dinner Wed. & Thurs. 5:30PM – 10:30PM; Fri. & Sat. 5:30PM – 11PM and Sun. 5:30PM – 10:30PM. Lunch is available Wed. – Sun. 11:30AM – 3:30PM.