NYC Trip Report, May 2017

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:



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That’s a very intensive eating trip indeed.

What is that thing sticking out of the mollusk?

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 umibodu (sea grapes), which had a refreshing crunch which mirrored that of the kazunoko (herring roe), sitting to its right. 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 (miso mustard). There was 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 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.

Wow! I find it incredible that you were able to visit and eat at all these eateries over the course of one weekend. And get a table, too? More power to you…

It was Memorial Day weekend !

I was there for a bit more than the weekend - about 5.5 days. I do think that it being Memorial Day helped with availability. I also planned this quite in advance and had alarms set for reservations!

Correction: the kazunoko is sitting to the left of the baigai, but displays on the right hand side of the picture.

More from Satsuki

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

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Holy smokes! That is quite a trip - I’m looking forward to your full review.

Do share more about this meal. How does Satsuki compare against e.g. Nakazawa? or the stuff around SF?

I will give a full rundown of the whole meal in a bit. I haven’t been to Nakazawa - I’ve heard mixed reviews (though some said it was great), so by the time we looked into it, there were no reservations. Perhaps I’ll visit next time for a comparison. What I can say is Satsuki is very high level, considering both ingredients and skill - definitely a step better than Yasuda in NY or anywhere I’ve tried in SF (Hashiri and Kusakabe). I haven’t been to Kinjo or Sasaki, but Satsuki is definitely better than Maruya was, way better than Akiko’s. I haven’t bothered with Omakase or Ju-Ni, et al.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold