W. Village Alert!!!!!
You must visit Junno's - - a new restaurant on Downing St. - - south of Bedford.
It is a Japanese restaurant w/ a modern influence reflected in both the menu and decor. It is a small, inviting room with a wonderfully curved bar on the left, painted a nice deep, royal blue. Meanwhile, the dining area parallel to the bar has several black leather banquettes that have clean, geometric lines that compliment the Asian theme. The bar and dining area provide a nice contrast and separation. Because of the blue bar and the white walls, there are South Beach undertones - - and I mean that in a good way!
But on to the food. We went in strictly for apps after having a glass of wine at 'Ino (on Bedford - - hit this one, too!). We asked the bartender (who we later found out was Junno, himself) what he suggested and he responded with "Everything", an answer I loathe. But he was right! We went 4 for 4!!! We had fantastic sweet shrimp ravioli in mustard miso sauce - -a great balance between the sweetness of the shrimp and the bite of the mustard. The raviolis were in a thin, almost wonton-like wrapping which thankfully let the sweet shrimp do their job. Next was a simple eel, avocado, lettuce roll that was sublime - - none of the ingredients obscured the other and everything was distinct. I have to say that I enjoyed it more than the eel, avocado handroll I had at Iso last week, and that's a lofty statement! We then moved on to grilled baby octopus which was sensational - - incredibly tender, with a nice charring, and a great sauce which escapes me at the moment - - something w/ sesame perhaps? Finally we had tuna tataki, a piece of thinly sliced seared tuna in a ponzu sauce with small pieces of fennel decorating each slice - - it was superb.
On top of all that, there is an unusual drink menu w/ some wonderful cocktails I've not seen anywhere else - -creative variations n sake, for one.
Can't wait to return for a full meal!
Thanks for the tip because last Friday, I had the worst
meal at the Japanese restaurant next to the Quad on 13th
St. Boy that was bad. I went with the easiest, hoping
they can't miss it but they sure did. The spicy tuna
roll was a big lumpy mess with extra mushy rice, the
negamaki was tough and had a sour taste and the teryaki
salmon was dripping in a weird-looking-and-tasting
sauce. And of course the French movie --Dry Cleaning--
was as disappointing as the meal... So very happy to
hear of this new place of yours. I'll report back as
soon as I pay them a visit.
re: Joyce Briand
I was anxious to try Junno but am not anxious to return. I arrived at 6:00 with 3 members of my party of 4. We were not permitted to sit until the 4th member of our party arrived. This is a practice that I completely understand generally, but in an empty restaurant- there were 9 tables available at the time- I find it completely rude. (This also happened this past Sunday evening at Patria at 6:00 pm the place was empty!) After several pleas to the hostess for common sense to strike, we were permitted to sit but only after we gave her a guarantee that we would order immediately and excessively. Our 4th person arrived soon and we all agreed that the food was unremarkable, but the bar was fantastic. It's best for drinks and snacks.
Cute crowd too.