Here is a little inspiration for you today:) Enjoy!
New York City is home to some of the best restaurants run by some of the most talented chefs in the country if not the world. The cost of eating out can really add up so I tend to stick to cooking at home as much as possible however when I do get the “foodie” bug I usually have to look no further then my front door to find a delicious and unique place to dine. When I get some free time, one of my absolute favorite things to do to treat myself is to go out to a really nice dinner. As my boyfriend is now working in “the restaurant biz,” when he told me he was going to be in New York for a few days to visit I decided to line something up that would not only provide us with a evening of delicious cuisine, but also a culinary experience that we would always remember. My search for such a place literally took me across the street from my apartment in Yorkville on the Upper East Side in Manhattan, to a Japanese/Sushi restaurant that is considered one of, if not the best, sushi restaurant in the country, Sushi Sasabune.
Sushi Sasabune’s motto, written on the door to the restaurant as you enter, “No Spicy Tuna. No California Roll. Trust ME.” says it all-this place is not your ordinary sushi spot. The menu is omakase (chef’s tasting menu) and the man behind the counter deciding that menu is the master chef and owner Kenji Takahashi who not only selects what sushi you will be enjoying, but also prepares each delectable slice of sushi himself. This may sound a little silly but before dinner I found myself feeling, well, incredibly nervous about our impending reservation at Sasabune. Of course I was beyond excited to finally dine there, especially after hearing and reading all the rave reviews online, but I knew that in order for me to get the most out of my evening at Sasabune I would have to put aside any of my prior reservations about trying new and different kinds of sushi/sashimi and just…. trust them. Upon arriving at the very small and modest space (the restaurant has about 10 tables in total) our waiter immediately inquired about any allergies we might have to shellfish or other foods and then confirmed that we indeed wanted to try the entire menu which would include sea urchin and monkfish liver, we did.
Over the next hour or so that followed, my taste buds had one of the best and most unique experiences of their “taste bud lives”, it was, in a word, exquisite. It is important to point out that prior to that evening my sushi/sashimi palate was rather limited, for when going out for sushi in the past I would usually stick to the basic crab and tuna rolls and pretty much avoid any sashimi all together as I really didn’t care for the texture of it very much. Knowing that a lot of my dinner would consist of sashimi had me nervously anticipating each dish as it arrived to the table although I was assured before going that the sushi/sashimi I would experience at Sasabune would be unlike anything I had ever tasted which could not have been more right!
The first dish was a generous helping of albacore tuna with ponzu sauce which, after eating my first bite, I gobbled down in about a minute, it was incredible. The tuna was soft on my tongue and the ponzu sauce was the perfect compliment, it was unlike any fish I had ever tasted and I was eager to see what came next. Next was a bowl of monkfish liver topped with fresh seaweed which melted like butter when it hit my tongue-absolutely divine. The third dish, a shellfish dish with sweet shrimp and oysters followed by a slice of bluefin tuna and chu-toro sashimi which, like the dishes before, lulled me into a state of bliss as I ate each piece. As each dish came out, our waiter instructed us on which pieces of the sushi/sashimi we should put soy sauce on and which to eat plain. I tried to eat as much of the menu as possible without any additional soy sauce as I found each dish to be so flavorful already. The rest of the evening passed almost like a dream, there was a dish of New Zealand Red Snapper and Long Island Fluke that even as I recount my experience has my mouth watering. Continue reading