NEW RESTAURANT ALERT: Augustine in the fab new Beekman Hotel

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Keith McNally (on left) on upper right pic

Had dinner at buzzy new restaurant, Augustine, last week. This is Keith McNally’s newest – and his first in a hotel. For those of you not familiar, Keith McNally is NYC’s French bistro king having opened Odeon, Pastis, Balthazar and Cherche Midi over the years.

Augustine looks exactly like Balthazar – albeit smaller. The staff is terrific, very cordial and hospitable (e.g. they seat you even if the rest of your party has not yet arrived, something I really appreciate!).

The food is good – but not spectacular. We had the salt baked oysters (which may have been my favorite dish of the evening), the soufflé au fromage (v. tasty) and the Bluefin tuna crudo (blah!). For mains, we had sea urchin spaghettini, steak frites (under the heating lamp way too long), and the Monday special, Moules a la citronelle.

Desserts were a highlight especially the Passion Fruit and Banana Vacherin.

Pricing is in the typical range for this type of restaurant – entrees hover around $30.

Overall, Augustine feels comfortable but a little tired – especially as compared to Le Coucou in the 11 Howard Hotel which blew me away (much more expensive but worth it). I hate to say it, but Keith McNally may not want to (or have the energy to) create a new restaurant in NYC at this time when the stakes are so high and the competition so fierce.

Augustine: 5 Beekman Street OR you can enter more circuitously through the hotel entrance at 123 Nassau Street. Currently open for dinner starting at 5:30pm

Read on below for my take on the newly opened Beekman Hotel which houses both Augustine and Tom Colichio’s Fowler and Wells which I must add has much better placement within the hotel and seems way cooler. Also, more photos of both our meal at Augustine and the gorgeous public spaces at the Beekman.

The Beekman Hotel opened in August downtown close to the Financial District. It is part of the Thompson Hotels’ group.

The public spaces (lobby and bars) are absolutely stunning. The atrium in particular on the Beekman side of the building is spectacular.

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Lobby entrance from Nassau Street entrance

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Waiting area between the lobby and the bar/restaurant area

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View into the lobby area

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The gorgeous atrium from the bar

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Tom Colicchio’s Fowler and Wells

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More on the atrium

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Lobby bar

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Lobby bar

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Lobby bar

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Lobby bar

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Lobby bar looking into Fowler and Wells

The building was originally constructed by James Farnsworth as Temple Court in 1883. It has been beautifully restored (over a period of 3 years!). Restoration, spearheaded by architect Randy Gerner, was challenging and included raising all railings and bannisters by a few inches to cater to the increased height of the average human, as well as sourcing discontinued floor tiles from a 4th generation tilemaker based in Buffalo, New York.

I haven’t seen the rooms but have added a photo from their website. Rooms start at around $500.

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The Beekman, 123 Nassau Street, New York, NY thebeekman.com

AUGUSTINE DINNER PHOTOS

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Salt Baked Oysters

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Bluefin Tuna Crudo

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Souffle Au Fromage

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Sea urchin spaghettini

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Moules a la citronelle with wildflowers!!

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Steak Frites

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THE BEST DESSERT: Passion Fruit and Banana Vacherin

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