In vino veritas is a Latin phrase that translates, “in wine [there is the] truth.” In today’s New York City, Veritas, is an esteemed Manhattan wine-restaurant, that has reopened, with a fresh new approach, under the watchful eye of new owner and Executive Chef Sam Hazen, (Below)
All Photo Credits: Mr.. Geert Teuwen
Address: 43 E. 20th St., between Broadway and Park Ave. S.
New York, NY, 10003
Telephone: (212) 353-3700
Cuisine: Contemporary American
Executive Chef & Owner: Sam Hazen
Chef de Cuisine: Alexander Williamson (Compass, Morimoto, Gramercy Tavern)
Pastry Chef: Emily Wallendjack
General Manager: Aaron Zebrook
Head Sommelier: Rubén Sanz Ramiro
Sommelier: Alexandria Cubbage
Partners: Park B. Smith (Founding Partner), Arthur Aidala, Esq.
Hours: 5 PM – 12 AM Monday – Saturday
Closed on Sunday
Number of Seats: Dining Room: 50
Bar: 10 bar stools – Communal table of 10
Wine List: Over 3,000 selections
Number of Bottles: 75,000
Design Firm: crème design (2010)
The Warm, Inviting Dining Room, Below.
After an 11 year run, Veritas the Faberge-dining spot with its wine-centered menu closed. Recently reopened and reinvented by owner and Executive Chef Sam Hazen, Veritas serves classy, contemporary American fare, with just enough bells and whistles to wow the most jaded foodie and has replaced the expensive prix fixe format with an affordable à la carte and bar menu. Veritas’ unparalleled wine cellar, boasting more than 3,000 selections (and 75,000 bottles), is accompanied by a rotating market selection of wines under $100.
With Veritas, Chef Hazen is returning to his roots and doing the kind of cooking he enjoys, in an intimate, elegant setting. Chef Hazen’s background includes such iconic restaurants as La Côte Basque and London’s Michelin three-star Le Gavroche, as well as critically acclaimed Cascabel and The Quilted Giraffe, among others. Hazen is more recently known for two of the biggest restaurant successes in the country: Tao New York and Tao Las Vegas.
Redesigned by crème design (Garces Trading Company, Rayuela, Komegashi), Veritas has been reconceived as a warm, elegant and inviting space. The restaurant features off-white brick and chalkboard-black walls accented with cork patchwork created by Julien Gardair A hallway connecting the lively front bar and the intimate dining room is framed with walls of wine bottles, giving guests the impression of entering a cellar. Other elements include a communal table in the bar area, espresso-colored wood tables and softly lit pendant lights. Park B. Smith, the restaurant’s founder and partner will continue to make his extraordinary
wine collection available for Veritas’ reserve list.
Veritas offers beautifully prepared, accessible food incorporating such top notch, quality ingredients as Vermont Creamery butter, tea from Serendipitea (including a Veritas blend), coffee from Kobricks, and bread from Sullivan Bakery. In the kitchen are local produce from Union Square Greenmarket, meat from Debragga & Spitler and Niman Ranch.
Whereas most restaurants design their wine lists to pair with the food, Chef Hazen was inspired by Veritas’ cellar when he created the new menu.
A gift from the kitchen, barely sautéed foie gras on house-made brioche French toast in a delicate pickled ligonberrie sauce was worthy of New York’s finest restaurant kitchens, With it we enjoyed a clever play on the classic :French 75,” here incorporating gin, rather than brandy.
Starters portions are generous and exceptional. You may want to order two, followed by a main plate (if your hungry), as we did, accompanied by wines, from the excellent wine-by-the-glass list, and selected by the terrific Sommelier Rubén Sanz. By all means start with Chilled Oyster Escabeche with Candied Lemon, Tomato and Cilantro . Served on thick rounds of fresh lemon, each oyster is pristinely fresh and the sauce is light and accommodating. A Spanish white was clean and delicious as its companion. (Benito Santos, Albariño,‘Igrexario de Saiar’).
Another must is a blend of Jonah crab and Venezuela blue crabmeat, in a magical mix of lemon jam, black olives and peppadew peppers. This dish shows chef Hazen’s deft hand in seasoning, an art so many newer chefs have yet to master. A Craggy Range, Sauvignon Blanc, ‘Te Muna’ New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc was a perfect friend.
The Ocean & Land, (Shown Above), features a brioche-crusted lobster draped over roasted bone marrow and has a richness that pairs exceptionally well with a medium-bodied Burgundy: (A marriage made in wine/food heaven). We were impressed with a Bernard Morey, Chassagne-Montrachet: focused and well balanced, it’s buttery finish was a perfect companion to the lobster/marrow union.
Beef In Transition showcases three different cuts, textures and cooking techniques: classic beef tartar, peppered sirloin with Cognac mustard, and short rib sliders. It is a splendid trio of mouthwatering tidbits, lovely to look at and exhibits chef Hazen’s contemporary style at its best. It lends itself to a full-bodied Châteauneuf-du-Pape. If available, we also loved a delightful blend from Tuscany of 50% Sangiovese and 50% Cabernet Sauvignon.
IF Stuffed Squid is a special, you’ll enjoy the balance of sweet and tart that perfectly match an aromatic, dry Riesling, The deceptively simple and decidedly delectable Belle Rouge Chicken with Potato Leek Cake proves that less is more and works beautifully with a sturdy white, medium red, rose or sparkler. We adored an elegant Priorat Vall Llach ‘Embruix’ from the house’s excellent collection.
Our favorite main course was the incredible Maple-Brined Wooly Pig, with Charred Tomato, and Wilted Butter Lettuce, where rare pork contrasted crispy neck meat , A fine Chateau de Pez Saint-Estephe was a perfect fit.
At the bar, a selection of wine-friendly small plates and bar snacks are on hand, such as Duck Fat Fries, Chicken Livers, a decadent pâté made with Belle Rouge chicken livers and served with pickled Cipollini onions, and a Veritas Steak Tartare.
Veritas cheese selection & Honeycomb, Marcona Almonds, Nut Fruit Bread, Accompanied By Dessert Wines
By The Glass or Bottle
Pastry Chef Emily Wallendjack (Nougatine, Pierre Hermé, Cookshop) prepares seasonal desserts that mirror Chef Hazen’s comforting classics including an Heirloom Apple Crisp with cinnamon and crème fraîche ice cream, and a Goat’s Milk Panna Cotta with Port-glazed figs and local honey. Cookies & Hot Chocolate with House Made Marshmallows are the best in town.
Working with Veritas’ world-famous wine cellar, Head Sommelier Rubén Sanz Ramiro (The Monday Room, Public, The Fat Duck, ) organizes special wine dinners with producers, centered around vertical tastings, or as an opportunity to open outstanding magnums.
Head Sommelier Rubén Sanz (Above)
To complement the wine list, a cocktail menu of classic libations and a small selection of local beers, amaros, cognacs and grappas are also available.
Veritas accommodates 10 guests at the bar (and 10 more at the bar’s communal table); 50 in the dining room.
Always one of New York’s most unique restaurants, thanks to Mr.Hazen’s noteworthy kitchen, an awesome wine selection and some of the most benevolent and polished service in town, Veritas is better than ever and receives The Walman Report’s highest award for fine dining: A Major.
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