What I Ate This Week - March 24th, 2014 Edition, Part 2 of 3
Sisters go to Sushi Nakazawa! This was certainly a labor of love. For those who have tried to reserve a table or a spot at the Sushi Bar, you know what I'm talking about. I fanatically refreshed the open table page a zillion times all day and night when I was in front of my computer. I am pretty sure that even the times I woke up in the middle of the night, I probably opened up the open table app to scan and see if someone had canceled a reservation in the early hours of the morning. I finally was able to secure a reservation for March 7th at 5:15pm. Early, okay, but I could take it. My sister wasn't sure if she could make it to NYC that weekend, so just in case, I kept searching for another reservation for March 20th. Then one day, a 7:45pm reservation for that Friday opened up. I was about to rub my eyes in disbelief, but I realized I didn't have that kind of time, as I'm sure the reservation would disappear as soon as it appeared. I felt a weird feeling of glee and satisfaction as I typed in my credit card information to hold my reservation.
When we arrived, the restaurant was completely full, but not crowded at all. I would imagine that an having an earlier reservation at the sushi bar would be ideal for food pictures, as there are huge windows in the front. My sister and I were seated in the dining room, and it was 'cavernous' by New York standards. The tables were spread far apart so you couldn't hear the conversation of the people next to you. In fact, we noticed several four tops were only being used for two people. THIS IS WHY YOU CAN'T GET A TABLE!
We were not provided a menu of what we were going to be served, but I like the element of surprise. We decided to do the Premium Sake flight with our meal, which is a seven course flight. I will not even pretend to know anything about sake, but I have a better appreciation for it now. We had some great flights with our courses. The service was outstanding, though I would expect no less. We were in the dining room, and while it is about nine courses, each sushi piece counts as a course, so you are actually having a twenty course meal. Intense.
One note: Chef Daisuke Nakazawa's sushi style is "Edomae". I don't actually know what the other styles. Anyone?
When you sit down, you are given a small bowl of pickled ginger and a moist cloth thingie for your fingers (to eat the sushi with your hands). I felt weird eating sushi with my hands so I used chopsticks.
And now, for some food porn!
Our first course consisted of smoked blackmouth king salmon and chinook salmon, both from the Pacific Northwest (because, duh, that is where the best seafood comes from!).
Somewhere in here, we had geoduck, but for some reason, I don't have a photo of it.
Tile fish, Sable Fish, and Fluke with a Yuzu Sauce
Horse Mackerel, Silver Stripe Round Herring, Mackerel. All nice and fatty! Miss Herring decided to show up to the party wearing silver lame from American Apparel. Good choice!
Some of our sake flight...
Next, we had Tiger shrimp and Madagascar prawn, which was the best prawn I've ever eaten. We decided we love all things from Madagascar!
Golden Stripped Yellow tail and Spanish Mackerel (who knew there were so many kinds of Mackerel!)
Two (kinds of tuna) is always better than one.
I missed a course or two that included scallops and uni.
Soy marinated chum salmon roe and sea eel.
Our final course was an egg omlette (tamago) and eel. If I understand correctly from the New Yorker write up, Chef Nakazawa went to painstaking lengths to perfect this for Chef Jiro Ono.
Last but not least...Dessert was a yuzu sorbet. A perfect finishing touch. The meal was not heavy at all, I was pleasantly full but felt very satisfied.
Most of our meal was spent nodding our heads in agreement and uttering "yummmm", while taking sips of the marvelously paired sake in between bites.
Verdict: I want to come back and sit at the bar, but not before I watch Jiro Dreams and then go to other places such as Sushi Seki or Yasuda. In case you missed the entire section about reservations, you most definitely need them. The 20-course meal in the dining room was $120 per person (this is why I take the subway everywhere and pack my lunch every day...), and the premium sake flight is $80 per person. If you dine at the bar, it is $150 per person (I am not sure if you get more courses?). Half of the rush is the glory of securing a table here!
23 Commerce Street
NY, NY 10014