15 East: Superb Sushi
I cannot speak highly enough of 15 East, the "modern Japanese" near Union Sq. Decor: minimalist and clean. Service: Impeccable, "read-your-mind" staff takes care of every little detail. And now, the food...
Some of the best sushi I have ever had. I sat at the bar, and ordered various items a la carte, taking suggestions from the masters. Octopus appetizer is "slow poached' and served as is with a pinch of salt. Sushi master Masa explained to me (enthusiastically) that the octopus arrived alive (as he gently pulls the entire animal out from below the counter) and is massaged 500 times before it is gently cooked. In any event, I have never tasted octopus so milky and tender. Copper river salmon was a revelation. Raw sweet white ebi was a light, fluffy dream. And then there was the anago (see eel, Japanese style). I think I blushed when I ate it. I called the waiter over and thanked him for his recommendation (I had been torn between sea eel and fresh water eel). I tried to suppress my excitement as I promptly asked for two more pieces. Green tea is served automatically at the end of the meal. No rush, no fuss, just pure sushi heaven.
(octopus appetizer, 8 pieces of sushi plus one avocado roll, and one flourless bittersweet chocolate cake came to $67 pre-tip). Run, don't walk.