By Julie L. Sagoskin.

If you haven’t been to Beautique, you haven’t been to one of New York’s hippest restaurant/lounge combos. From premiere parties to unforgettable dining experiences, Beautique will have you running elbows with celebs while enjoying some of the city’s best food and drinks without even having to go downtown! The visionary behind Beautique, Jon Bakhshi, has become a legend in the food/club industry, and is one of the coolest guys around. Don’t forget to check out Beautique’s pop-up restaurant and club in Southampton this summer, located right inside the Capri Southampton.

 

Interview with Jon Bakhshi

Jon Bakhshi with Jennifer Lopez

What makes Beautique such a hip hot spot for celebs and New Yorkers alike?

Beautique’s award-winning menu showcases market-fresh ingredients and classic French techniques, alongside a cocktail selection created by acclaimed Mixologist, Charlotte Voisey.
The décor is very romantic and reminiscent of Coco Chanel’s baroque-inspired apartment, the sprawling space is infused with an air of enchantment. Continuing to make headlines in its second year, celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Bosworth and Dylan McDermott, among others regularly frequent the hotspot.
Beautique was voted the best new restaurant in NYC. What do you think makes it the best of the best?
It’s an eclectic combination of the atmosphere, the food, the people…. everything is orchestrated to be a certain way so that when you come in, your experience is unlike any other. It’s the very place you want to be in New York. You won’t find anything like us anywhere else.
What’s the culinary vision of Beautique?
The new menu was launched this month and we are very excited about the local offerings of ingredients and the use of seasonal produce. We aim to keep updating our menu and offering our guests a different, quality experience each and every time they come in.
Are there any details you think help Beautique maintain its excellent reputation?
There are actually quite a few things… first- we have a sophisticated space that is upscale and inviting, so celebrities feel safe when they come here and feel as if they can let loose a bit; second, our staff is very experienced and is in touch with the industry, so we always hire good people that know the work well and make guests feel welcome and attended-to; and of course, our food, our drinks and our atmosphere. Our food and cocktails are unrivaled and are so delicious that you’ll want to move to our lounge after dinner rather than leave and go to another location to end your evening. We always promote by word-of-mouth… a great recommendation is the best advertisement you can get. When anyone comes into the restaurant, our goal is always to give them a reason to come back again and get their friends to come with them.
What’s your favorite dish that you serve?
Our halibut is out of this world. Our version is paired with paella risotto and a chorizo sauce. All of our fish and meats are freshly sourced and some of the best-quality you can get. For a first- timer at Beautique, I recommend sampling something from each section of the menu. Start with a cocktail… our Beautique Balmoral starts your evening with a kick. Then order a plate for the table to share, an appetizer and main course, and finish off your evening with dessert and champagne… our chocolate fondant is a can’t-miss and any night that finishes off with champagne is a good one. I believe that the best way to experience a restaurant fully is to try as much as you can. Sit back and try to take in the atmosphere, aromas and tastes.
Favorite Cocktail?
Our Beautique Balmoral features a macallan rare cask, sweet & dry vermouth and orange twist that is unique to our restaurant and starts your evening with a kick. We spent a while perfecting it. Although it’s $80, you’d be surprised… it gets ordered again and again… it’s that good!
What was the most memorable event you’ve hosted?
There have been so many! Jennifer Lopez was probably my favorite. We hosted her last birthday for close friends and family. I love having intimate events just as much as grand parties. We hosted a number of designers this past fashion week and continue to host celebrities daily. Lisa Vanderpump is a frequent, and great patron!
Are there any events coming up that you’re especially excited about?
We have many events around music and art. We have Live Music Mondays and Disco Fridays every week that draw a great crowd. We also recently had an art exhibition showcasing Elizabeth Sutton’s work. There’s always something going on at Beautique that’s new and noteworthy. We like to keep our guests engaged and coming back again and again.
How did you find yourself in the restaurant/club industry?
I grew up in a family of entrepreneurs, so it was instilled in me at a very young age to do my own thing and grow my own business. When you have the entrepreneurial itch, you just know. I always liked being around people and making sure that everyone had a good time, which is how I fell into nightclubs then restaurants.
Do you plan on expanding your empire?
I do, we have been looking at different opportunities in New York, Los Angeles, Miami and internationally. I am looking forward to discussing this in more depth later this year. As an entrepreneur, I never stop looking for opportunities and expanding my portfolio.
Any advice for people attempting to break into the restaurant/club business?
This business is one of the most difficult, especially in New York, but it is very rewarding to see your clientele enjoy themselves. You won’t get a lot of sleep but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Having patrons like Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Bosworth and Dylan McDermott, Elle McPherson, Bono, Liam Neeson, Bravo as a brand and all of the talented actors, musicians and socialites, the list goes on…
Any crazy stories you’re allowed to share on record?
I hold my cards close. I wouldn’t say there are any stories per se, we simply aim to create great, unforgettable experiences.
How do you relax?
I love spending time at home with my wife Ashley and my family. After a long day at the restaurant, there’s nothing better than kicking my feet up and relaxing with her.
Where do you see yourself ten years from now?
As long as I love doing what I’m doing, I’ll be opening and operating businesses and restaurants. As you can see, still love it, but ask me again then and I’ll tell you!

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