‘Tis the season for new restaurants and there’s countless to devoured. Here’s a sneak peek at two of the lastest newcomers.
63 Clinton Street, btwn. Stanton & Rivington Sts.
This Lower East Side gem has slipped onto the restaurant scene to little, but worthy fanfare. Owner Craig Gross, a long-time manager at Blue Water Grill, and his partner Joe Dobias, formerly a chef at Quaint in Queens, have teamed up to deliver global cuisine and wines at curiously affordable prices. Burgundy ultra-suede banquettes, gold-painted walls, and dark wood floors evoke a homey vibe in this small, but polished 22-seat space. Inspired by dishes from all over the world, with an emphatic nod to its LES Latin & Jewish neighbors, savorNY’s menu takes an inventive approach to traditional global fare.
SavorNY not only takes liberties with the food, but also with its wine list. While most restaurants separate their reds from their whites, Craig distinguishes according to tasting notes: spicy/intense, bold/robust and earthy/mineral. He’s more than happy to walk you through the list, which pays homage to newly developed wines. The best part is the prices – go ahead and order the best bottle on the menu, it will only set you back $48.
Let’s get down to the food, which is cutely organized into fingers, forks and finales. As the categories imply, fingers can be happily enjoyed with your hands, while fork requires a utensil or two. This eclectic collection of small plates runs the ethnic gamut: crab rangoon, Irish lamb stew and chinese bbq duck. While house cured wild salmon with beet-onion jelly and matzoh is a quirky take on Jewish nosh, ruben empanadas fuse Latin and Jewish staples. There’s even a Wagyu beef with an Argentian slant, which arrives black & blue with crushed peppercorns and chimichurri sauce, terrifically priced at $13.
But don’t fill up on small plates as you’ll want to stay for the $6 finale. The churros are a must: cinammon-coated churros with a luscious condensed milk chocolate sauce. There’s also a decadent chocolate mousse with pretzels and the chef’s favorite, honey custard with Turkish flatbread crisps, a spin on creme brulee sans the burnt top with a kick of salt.
401 East 73rd St., nr. 1st Ave.
When I moved from Los Angeles back to New York two years ago, I had but one regret: Sushi Sasabune. While I had the pleasure of experiencing sushi at the original Sasabune in Honolulu, it paled in comparison to the Los Angeles spinoff. As I sat for my last supper, I begged and pleaded with Nobi and Kenji, the geniuses behind the sushi counter, to follow me to the promise land of NYC.
Kenji swore that he would one day meet me here, with Sasubune’s sacred
sushi in tote. I savored my last bite of melt-in-your-mouth white tuna sashimi afloat in a puddle of home-made ponzu sauce, buttery salmon with silvers of pickled seaweed atop warm clouds of sushi rice and a heavenly baked crab hand roll that dreams are made of. After two years of daydreaming about omakase so fantastical words can’t begin to do it justice, Sasabune has arrived on the Upper East Side.
Forget the ambience, Kenji’s sushi machinations are the draw and there’s only one thing on the menu: omakase. Simply put, omakase means trust me, and that’s exactly what you must do when you grab a front row seat at the sushi bar. Put yourself in Kenji’s hands for the sushi experience of a lifetime. Just trust me.
Until we eat again,
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