I loved the look of the long gone restaurant Danube in Tribeca, it always made me want to show cleavage and risk high heels. But even though the interiors of Brushstroke , David Bouley's new kid is more Ikea than Klimpt, because of Chef Yamada's precise food attack I'm hooked.
While the New York Magazine review confused me, and I was left thinking that what Adam really craved was sushi instead of kaiseki fashioned cuisine, there was one little morsel that was one of the most exciting tastes I've had in ages: fresh hearts of palm in a basil miso sauce. When even one bite in a restaurant causes a swoon, that is a restaurant worth risking all. This was a clean tasting hearts of palm pesto with such picquantry I had to resist the urge to stuff my mouth, ala potato chips. Of course the texture was different, almost like al dente artichoke heart but the impulse was to stuff my mouth, artlessly, just can't stop eatin fastly and furiously. Of course, highly unacceptable, I slowed down and toyed, coaxed and savored, then cleaned the bowl with my finger.
That was one lovely treat for the taste buds. Other memorables was the new tasting use of green tea (think texture) in the cocktails, thanks to mixologist Gen Yamatoto.
Young sommelier baby-faced Seju Yang, (pinched from 15east)put together a well thought through list peppered with the bulk in the $100-$300 range but was kind to the under $120 as well, and was thinking that it might be cool to return and try the J. Roty Marsannay (2002) for $75. I was tempted by the wine but I gave my self over to the sake.
I admit, I sometimes get annoyed by the increasing volume and richness of the stuff, as if it is headed after the tropical chardonnay drinker. I know little about sake making technology but I'm eager to taste natural yeasted stuff, or at least sake that takes the foot off of the aromatic yeast pedal. And that is exactly why I loved when he indulged me with a side by side tasting of Chikurin Junmai Ginjo sake; same producer, one organic, (Ecocert) and the other conventional.
Both Seju and I agreed that the organic sake was far more complex and interesting while the other was common.
Brushstroke, 30 Hudson Street (Duane Street). Dinner every night except Sundays, with menus starting at $85. (212) 791-3771.