NYC Trip Report, May 2017


#1

New York, I visited your great city this past long weekend. Just got off the plane - had a great and exhausting several days in NYC. A full report and thoughts to follow.

We ate at:

Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare
The Grill
Carbone
Le Coucou
Le Bernardin
Satsuki by Suzuki
Jungsik
Atera
The Beatrice Inn
Minetta Tavern
Augustine
Okonomi
Russ & Daughters
The Halal Guys
$0.99 Fresh Pizza
Joe’s Pizza
Balthazar

Snacks at Veniero’s, Hi-Collar, and various coffee joints, and drinks at a few bars throughout town and Williamsburg.

Largely the food was quite good. There’s a few I’d probably skip next time, but we also had some great bites this trip.

A quick preview:




#2

That’s not ice cream with caviar?


#3

Indeed it is. Golden oscetra with asparagus ice cream and IPA beer creme at Atera. The asparagus and hops had a nice fresh greenness to them that lifted the caviar’s salinity. IPA creme was actually pretty mild - but the yeast flavors were interesting with the nutty caviar. It was probably the strongest dish at Atera - but if I’m nitpicking, the ice cream is a touch cold. It’s a nice palette cleanser of sorts near the beginning, good with some very minerally Blanc de Blancs.


#4

A much more classic pairing, at Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare:


Kaluga caviar with creamy and chunky Yukon gold potatoes, with pink salt.

With Jacques Lassaigne extra brut blanc de blancs. Which was also fantastic with


Hokkaido bafun uni on toasted brioche, preserved truffle. The truffle was unnecessary but the dish was otherwise great.

Yes it sounds similar to Saison’s uni “liquid toast,” but they are quite different (I’ll explain later).


#5

Holey moley! The first list has 17 places if I counted correctly. Did you do anything other than eat? I’m simply stunned.


#6

We tried to do quite a bit! I was there for 5.5 days. American Museum of Natural History, The Met (incredible), walk through Central Park, walk the High Line, visit galleries (David Zwirner), 9/11 Memorial, window shop, gift shop, hang out with some friends, rooftop drinks, bar hop, walk through neighborhoods (mainly SOHO, Gramercy, and Williamsburg), and all in all, pretend I was a local. Walked a ton. I planned everything, and now I’m exhausted! Sorting through photos and gathering my thoughts so I can do a full report.


#7

Wonderful reports and trip.


#8

Thank you. I will start post some reviews this weekend.

One thing I loved about New York was the varied dishware!

Vintage cup from Japan, with a pearlescent patina


Not shown: a beautiful mother of pearl spoon. This dish was one of the nicer looking, yet less interesting courses at Jungsik, which was very solid. The best bites didn’t look that appealing, but they were very nicely done. One of the pleasant surprises of the trip.

Also, Suzuki-san at Satsuki showed me some of his extensive ceramic ware collection, and we discussed Japanese aesthetics and pottery for a good half hour. No good pictures, sorry.

I realize this looks fairly precious. The one carnivore’s meal we had, at The Beatrice Inn, was not bad, but I think we didn’t order to its potential. We also did not make it to Fette Sau.


#9

I’m just still bowled over! Are you pretty young? I’m an old toot and could never do that pace or eat that much. That’s like eating out 3x/day. But looking forward to reading and seeing. Mmm.


#10

I won’t be surprised if I’m on the younger end of the age spectrum of this forum. We basically only went to the hotel to change and sleep; we made it a point to be out most of the day to maximize our time. But we didn’t get to go everywhere we wanted, because of the Memorial Day schedule and meeting with friends ran longer than I thought - we missed eating Chinese in Flushing, Fette Sau in Williamsburg, pre-dinner snacks at Aldea, and Cuban food in Loisaida. We were debating about 4 Charles Prime Rib and Gunter Seeger - in retrospect, probably would’ve done those instead of The Beatrice Inn and Le Bernardin, respectively.

I posted the following on Hungryonion in response to a question, and thought I’d post it here:

This plate was the otsumami course at Satsuki by Suzuki.

On the left is skewered baigai (Japanese conch), steamed and served with a 1-year old nitsume sauce (also used on the anago, saltwater eel, which would appear at the end of the meal).

On top of the conch shell is umibudo (sea grapes), which had a refreshing crunch which mirrored that of the kazunoko (herring roe), sitting to its left, on the righthand side of the picture. The kazuknoko was kelp-dried and topped with a wasabi stem kasuzuke, aged for 1 month.

In back is hotaru-ika (firefly squid), dressed with the customary garnish: su-miso (vinegar miso sauce). There were also ultra-thin cucumbers and some fairly thick wakame (kelp).

This plate was all about contrasts with Spring’s ingredients. The crunch of the kazunoko and umibodu vs. the dense chew of the baigai and slippery, chewy hotaru-ika. The thin and crunchy cucumbers vs. the thick and toothsome wakame. The mildly sharp su-miso and wasabi-stem vs. the slight offal taste of the hotaru-ika and kasuzuke.

This plate really got our attention, and Satsuki ended up being very high level overall. The sushi was very good, but this plate displayed a lot of thought with ingredient pairings.

Otsukuri (sashimi) plate: (shown clockwise in picture) Hata (grouper), Chutoro (medium-fatty tuna), and Aji (horse mackerel) with negi (green onion) and myoga (young ginger). Fresh wasabi from Shizuoka. This was brimming with nice textures.


Served respectively with ponzu, bonito-soy, ginger-soy
Kohada (gizzard shad) with pickled kelp

Thank you @ipsedixit for the recommendation about Satsuki (and Jungsik - more on that later).


#11

Satsuki vs Nakazawa - which would you pick to go first?

Eagerly awaiting Jungsik report. My Korean experiences so far in NYC… wayyyy below LA.


#12

Jungsik is awesome. Nothing like it in LA.

Also Atoboy is awesome as well, manned by the former chef at Jungsik


#13

I haven’t been to Nakazawa, so I can’t comment. I’ve heard mixed things - some great - so I kind of want to try Nakazawa, but we could not get reservations at Nakazawa or Ichimura. I know chef Nakazawa worked at Sukiyabashi Jiro, but I don’t believe Nakazawa touched the sushi. With that said, his work ethic must’ve been good enough to be there, so hopefully that translates to making sushi. One slightly disconcerting picture I saw showed nigiri that was seared and some of the rice got burnt. I went in to Satsuki with no real expectations, and found that it was quite high level. For one, I think Nakazawa is straight nigiri, and probably considerably more nigiri than at Satsuki. Satsuki had two small kobachi, otsukuri plate, otsumami plate, and fewer nigiri. Another, superficial thing: Nakazawa’s bar looks to have quite a different atmosphere than that of Satsuki.

Jungsik was excellent, a pleasant surprise. It’s very different than other Korean food I’ve had in LA. It’s a tasting menu based around Korean cuisine - the closest analogues are Benu and Mosu in SF, but IMO, more interesting than the former and overall a bit higher-level than the latter. Several dishes were quite well dialed-in. Jungsik’s pastry chef is on fire.


#14

@ipsedixit @BradFord wow glowing recs for Jungsik!! Atoboy is a new one I had not heard about.

I’ve been a bit leery of Nakazawa especially with the possibility of not being assigned Sergio. A repeat of poor experiences ala Shunji when Sergio is not in the house. Maybe I’ll start with Satsuki and booking well in advance for Nakazawa.


#15

Was this the full omakase $250 option?


#16

Yes. FYI the meal consisted of 2 vegetarian kobachi, 1 otsukuri plate (shown above), 1 otsumami plate (shown above), 1 grilled fish, 10 pieces of nigiri, miso soup, tamago, 1 temaki, and dessert. With 3 extra pieces and a few beers, it was about $400pp out the door. We did talk with Suzuki-san for a good while about pottery and they comped us some sake. Quality was very high and we enjoyed dinner quite a bit. Nigiri was quite technical, one of the better sushi meals in the US, for us at least.


#17

Thanks for the rec @ipsedixit; had a very nice meal. Excellent QPR for this high level of cooking. More of a Korean influenced place. Overall enjoyed everything however a few dishes really stood out.

Sunchoke with oyster mushroom, black truffle, orange - Wonderful earthy flavors. Black truffles are usually a frivolous addition however this worked for an additional earthy gravitas.

Mackerel braised with green chili, radish, scallion. I expected a dry overcooked mackerel typical of what you’d find in a jeongol. Instead was met with a silky perfectly cooked piece of fish with the familiar flavors of a traditional Korean kitchen. Excellent execution, one of the best prepared mackerel dishes I’ve encountered.

Sujeonggwa granita with burrata, lychee yoghurt, walnuts. Doesn’t look like much and wasn’t sure what to expect initially. The interplay of the slightly sweet cinnamon forward granita and the savory burrata was terrific; the tang from the yoghurt and walnut added additional subtle tangy, fruity and nutty elements to the dish. Light yet complex. Refreshing end to the meal.


#18

That granita is very very interesting.

Two of my most memorable dishes might be the egg and corn dishes.

Will have to try the mackerel next time I’m there.