When we went to Bouley in TriBeCa, I was definitely unimpressed, if not disappointed. But we still were going to give a chance to the famous Chef, trying the Japanese restaurant he opened with Yoshiki Tsuji, Brushstroke. And you know what? It was much, much, much better, with a tasting that was memorable.
It is not a huge place, and we were lucky to sit at the counter, overlooking the kitchen where the magic happened, mesmerized by the precision of the staff, sometimes using tweezers to plate the dishes. We went for their tasting menu (en kaseiki): vegetarian for Jodi and non-vegetarian for me. Both were fantastic: beautifully presented and amazing taste.
We started off with beverages. Jodi had a tea called Genmaicha, a fine gyokuro green tea mixed with toasted brown rice.
On my side, I had a glass of sake from their large selection. I chose the Song of the Sea Junmai Ginjo sake:
Here is what we had:
Jodi - Yuzu wasabi guacamole and soba chips.
Me - Sakizuke: smoked European eel and Ankimo tofu.
Jodi - Kabocha and butternut squash soup with tofu sesame foam.
Me - Nimonowan: Winter vegetables in sake lees (yeast that are leftover from the fermentation) white miso broth.
Jodi - Miniature vegetables landscape over snow tundra in tofu.
Me - Tsukuri: sashimi made with sea bream or Tai, a fish similar in appearance and taste to red snapper.
Jodi - steamed turnip mochi with Winter mushrooms and gingko nuts.
Me - Hashiyasume: Chawanmushi Nantucket Bay scallop bekkou-ankake.
Jodi - Winter vegetables hassun.
Me - Hassun: Kinmedai black pepper Yuan-Yaki, Winter bamboo shoots, sweet soy sauce, steamed organic duck and the sushi of the day.
Jodi - Satoimo and quinoa dumpling.
Me - Shiizakana: this was the main dish and for this one, I could chose between two. I decided to go for the Colorado lamb chop, served with puffed dried green seaweed, red wine reduction and Satoimo purée.
Jodi - Lotus roots and mushrooms with Japanese heirloom green rice.
Me - choice of rice entrée: I decided to order the Long Island Jonah crab truffle ankake over rice.
Last was desserts. We decided to go for the sake lees creme brulee that was phenomenal, served with a homemade sweet sake.
The second dessert was the black truffle ice cream accompany with truffle honey, truffle vinegar and almonds. This was for sure a very unique dessert. It was good, but, if I had to pick, I would order the creme brulee.
Last, with the bill, came a crispy treat that I think was made of tofu skin.
This was a phenomenal dinner and most of the dishes were very good, whether vegetarian or non-vegetarian. The presentation was beautiful and I wonder if the name of the restaurant was not picked to represent the art put into creating such dishes, the plate being like a canvas to a master. This is pricey, but, if you want such an experience, it is a very good place to go to.
Enjoy (I did)!
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