HOME > Chowhound > Manhattan >

Discussion

Looking for great evening of Japanese (esque) tastings, sushi, sake, nice room

Wife's birthday soon. Looking to sit back and enjoy lots of small plates along with great sake and pleasing environment.

Price is open.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
    1. re: gutsofsteel

      Sakagura would be perfect for this occasion, IMO.

        1. re: Notorious P.I.G.

          While Sakagura is good, the OP should know that Sugiyama is a more formal, quieter room, with better food.

          -----
          Sakagura
          211 East 43rd Street, New York, NY 10017

          Sugiyama
          251 W 55th St, New York, NY 10019

          1. re: gutsofsteel

            The OP should also note that Sugiyama and Sakagura are completely different categories of Japanese restaurants. Better is relative.

            1. re: E Eto

              i found sakegura more innovative, interesting, and tasty than sugiyama. sugiyama was more classical (authentic- shudder)

              1. re: thew

                Have not been to Sugiyama - but from what I read it sounds like you'd "sit back" more at Sakagura.

      1. re: gutsofsteel

        Have been to both. Great suggestions.

      2. Ate at robotaya last night. Sat at the bar/counter in the front room and enjoyed the show. Great food lots of small plates. They even had an outstanding sashimi plate. You might want to check it out.

        1. I may be killed for saying this, but, Jewel Bako has a beautiful room and the sushi was better than I had expected it to be. I seem to recall a good sake list Believe it or not, we went there after dinner at Degustation, next door.

          -----
          Jewel Bako
          239 E 5th St, New York, NY 10003

          3 Replies
          1. re: MMRuth

            Why would you be "killed for saying this"? I was under the impression that it's serving really creative, delicious seafood.

            1. re: plumpdumpling

              My sense is that Jewel Bako doesn't get much love on the board.

              -----
              Jewel Bako
              239 E 5th St, New York, NY 10003

              1. re: MMRuth

                I too thought jewel bako was lovely and the food was fine BUT we definitely had issues with service and attitude.

          2. 15 East is my favorite. Great menu and great sake/wine list. If you sit at the counter, you will be charmed by the chef as well.

            -----
            15 East
            15 East 15th Street, New York, NY 10003

            1. Kyo Ya. Only sashimi and battera, no sushi. But everything is sublime. And the place is beautiful.

              -----
              Kyo Ya
              94 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

              6 Replies
              1. re: sushiman

                Agreed 100%. Shoulda thought of it earlier.

                1. re: sushiman

                  Another satisfied customer of Kyo Ya. Had a wonderful anniversary dinner with the wife earlier this year. Small, pleasant, quiet, great food and a good sake list.

                  -----
                  Kyo Ya
                  94 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

                  1. re: sushiman

                    Battera is mackeral bozushi, yes?

                    IIRC, they several kinds of box sushi and it's always been delicious. The selection changes daily and is based upon what's in season, often flown in from Japan.

                    Definitely make reservations in advance.

                    1. re: sushiman

                      2nd (3rd? 4th?) Kyo Ya - reserve a couple days in advance if you want to get the Kaiseki menu. Sublime.

                      -----
                      Kyo Ya
                      94 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

                      1. re: sushiman

                        When I took my girlfriend there for her birthday in late February, the sashimi was our favorite course, and that's saying something because the entire meal was sublime in the purest sense of the word.

                        1. re: sushiman

                          Ooops, should have said sashimi and bozushi.

                        2. Hey all, got some reservations at Kyo Ya for my wifes birthday dinner. Thanks for all the advice. I am so excited about this meal. Reservationist was very helpful and kind. Asked lots of questions and discussed chefs menu.

                          -----
                          Kyo Ya
                          94 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

                          7 Replies
                          1. re: pulled pork

                            I think you made a wonderful choice. The place is (a) thoroughly classy and pleasant and (b) served me one of the best meals I'd had in years. Please report back when you have a chance.

                            1. re: Pan

                              We loved Kyo ya.
                              Thoroughly charming and tucked away restaurant.
                              Attention to detail in the furnishings was just perfect.
                              Plate presentation was best ive ever seen. Must say though that i'd never been to this type of Japanese place before.
                              Freshness was incredible. Dishes were original and very stylized.
                              Service was quiet, smooth and charming.

                              Other comments:
                              Was offered by reservationist a 9 or 11 course tasting for $95 / $120. I chose two 11 course tastings. Menu at table said 9 plus a dessert. When I asked the manager at our table if there was a mix up, she politely explained that I must have been mistaken, it was always a 9 or 10 course choice. This was fine and a pleasant conversation. But what was a bit odd and out of order was her explaining the tasting menus AND their prices in front of my wife. This was the same person who took my reservation and knew it was a surprise meal for her birthday. Fortunately my wife is easy and understanding but I was a little annoyed at this.

                              PS: Always remember to look at the wine list before saying something like " We really liked that complimentary sake you served us upon arrival, yes please do send us a bottle to go along with the rest of the menu. A $90 bottle of sake on top of a $240 meal was a bit of sticker shock. But hey it was my fault AND it was a great bottle.

                              That being said, it was an outstanding performance by the chef and staff. Chef Sono came over to wish wife happy bday and talk menu and food with us. Bought him a beer too as thanks.

                              I have to say that this meal cost about the same with tax and tip as our dinner at Picasso at the Bellagio hotel a few years back. I am left with the feeling that a European restaurant gives you much more bang for your buck in terms of atmosphere, setting, theme, etc... Assuming all food quality being the same, which it was. Is is because I am not Japanese and appreciative of such an evening at Kyo ya, maybe. But I do think the next time I drop $420 + on dinner it will be at the more well rounded evening experience of French, Italian, etc... establishment.

                              Once again, I must repeat that we loved the evening. Tasting spanned 2hrs+ and it was a rare treat. Please go if you have never done such an evening. Go with their flow and enjoy the process. You may never see such fine work anywhere else.

                              -----
                              Kyo Ya
                              94 E 7th St, New York, NY 10009

                              1. re: pulled pork

                                Even in Japan, kaiseki dining is known for rather nebulous pricing and value. It’s usually an expense account dining option in the Japanese business world, so everything is probably inflated accordingly.

                                1. re: pulled pork

                                  Mentioning the price in front of your wife was a bit of a faux pas. When I took my girlfriend there for her birthday, I declined to tell her how much the meal had cost, saying: "It's a gift. Happy Birthday!"

                                  Did they give you any amuse before the first official course?

                                  About the sakes: We had two different sakes by the glass and loved them, but they were expensive (fairly priced, though, I thought, given that they were just as good as fine grape wines).

                                  1. re: Pan

                                    Pan, upon seating they gave us two glasses of sake in a beautiful low cut glass bowl filled with ice and a floral arrangement. The amuse was a mini sushi sandwich of unagi! Wow was the first words from our mouths.

                                    We had liked to complimentary sake so we asked for a bottle for the remainder of meal. Like I said, always ask first.

                                    Money discussion was a HUGE faux pas but my wife was totally cool about it and if she asked I probably would have told her anyway.

                                    Silverjay, good point. Will remember that expense account comment for next time. Although I will say that yes it was expensive but we felt it was worth it as a rare treat and not a rip off at all.

                                  2. re: pulled pork

                                    Glad to hear that you liked it. If it makes you feel better, I recently was served a bottle of seasonal sake, they only make about a hundred bottles a year and when I got the bill it was $150.

                                2. re: pulled pork

                                  Don't overlook the kamameshi here ... think matsutake.

                                3. If you're interested in Tribeca, you might try Takahachi on Reade Street near West Broadway. You may not see all of their small plates looking at an on-line menu, as the chef tends to make up interesting things on the spot.

                                  -----
                                  Takahachi
                                  145 Duane St, New York, NY 10013