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Descend a mirrored staircase to discover this sleek, velvet-swathed Midtown boîte inspired by the mystique of Coco Chanel. While the "beauty" aspects is a more prominent feature than the "boutique"—there's no shortage of handsomely-plated dishes and see-and-be-seen diners— renowned culinary director Alain Allegretti (Bistro La Promenade, Azure in Atlantic City) has not compromised his talent for the sake of the party. With dinner giving way to disco after hours, a night at Beautique is a free-form experience that's yours to curate.
The dining demographic morphs from business-casual to New York fabulous as the evening progresses, motivated by low lighting and live music which kick in at 9pm. A mural of glittering lips provides a fantastic selfie backdrop, and equally photo-worthy is the French-inflected cuisine. The caliber of ingredients shine through in the freshness of a fluke crudo ($22) and luscious tuna tartare ($22), while octopus and monkfish, which often risk turning rubbery, are flawlessly executed. The lustily spiced octopus appetizer ($24), large enough for an entree, achieves toasty flavor even in the absence of visible char, with grape tomatoes and dense potatoes. Monkfish ($34) celebrates spring, with a tajine of seasonal beans and bouncy Israeli couscous.
The lively scene naturally encourages a steady flow of libations ($19), designed by bar maven Charlotte Voisey, whether you choose an Absolut martini (lemongrass, pineapple, mint) or a bourbon-berry smash, and adept servers ensure even water glasses never sit half-empty for long. As dinner morphs into disco, don't be distracted from dessert. Strawberry souffle ($15), delicately marshmallowy and drizzled in key lime creme, is well worth its twenty-minute prep time. And if you're watching your figure (like everyone else is) take that time to boogie away the calories in anticipation.
BY: TIME OUT COMMUNITY REVIEWER DEBORAH FENKER