Our number one culinary crush, Top Chef's Sam Talbot, has gotten us feeling fishy in this exquisite new sustainable Soho eatery. Located within the Mondrian Hotel (which makes the urban trellis entrance even more magical), Imperial No. 9 is officially our new seafood standby. With decor that mixes Baccarat classicism with a secret garden, we could easily linger for hours, nibbling on the small plates and sipping the almost too-drinkable libations.
With two main eating areas—a cozy and plush interior on one side and a spacious, brightly lit A-frame garden—the restaurant is perfect for every lunch with the parents or a romantic dinner. The menu, based around the small portion craze, is loaded with eclectic choices like seared scallops with pickled melon or raw Hiramasa yellowtail with frozen coconut will certainly leave diners feeling refreshed, not full. While it certainly privileges the sea, don't skip out on the incredible vegetarian entrees, like the rich squash, cous cous and egg or a palette cleansing portion of cucumber kim chee.
With a sophisticated menu, egg white-frothed drinks, and ornate crystal chandeliers abound, it's easy to forget you are right off of the bustle of Canal Street. The Henry VIII-style furniture is certainly playful, and not pretentious, and to keep with the airy milieu of the evening, try an outfit that blends elegance and whimsy. Go classical, but punch it up with one piece of poppy, bright color. Add a statement accessory and a geometric shoe, and you're set for a dreamy evening. Oh, don't forget to try the No. 6 gin and lavender cocktail--we can already tell, it's our new summer drink.
Imperial No. 9, 9 Crosby Street (Between Howard and Grand Streets). (646) 218-6455.
Clockwise, from top left: Reiss Suri Glasses, $93, available at Reiss; United Nude Fold Hi Boot, $185, available at United Nude; Dior Addict Lipstick in Collection 865, $28, available at Dior; Peter Jensen Colorblock Angela Bag, $278, available at TenOverSix; Cacharel Cuffed Silk Shorts, $495, available at La Garçonne; Jason Wu Polka-Dot Tie-Neck Blouse, $595, available at Neiman Marcus.
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