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Jun 30, 2013 11:48 AM

ZZ Clam Bar

Has anyone been yet?

There's pretty much nothing on the restaurant website. Eater posted up the initial menu the other week.

Anybody know the rough price point? Without drinks, tax, and tip, is it a $100 per person spot? A $150?

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  1. Googled it. "The dishes (exact prices still getting worked out, but expect to pay $15 to $50 per small plate—budget seafood this is not) showcase a more worldly approach to raw fish; highlighting style before ingredients, with preparations including crudo, carpaccio, ceviche, and tartare. The fish comes from Tsujiki market in Tokyo as well as local purveyors."

    If that helps at all...still quite broad a range.

    1. I stopped in to take a look at place and menu last week. It is a very tiny place with a very luxurious feel. Maybe 4 tables altogether. It looks like the perfect date night type of place where you want to propose or maybe ask for a divorce since you can celebrate after with what looks like an amazing menu. One of the apps was $95 but that did come w caviar. I definitely will be booking a reservation soon as I just know from the "vibe" I got that it will be a terrific experience.

        1. re: thegforceny

          $20 for relatively average-sounding cocktails. Eesh.

        2. I don't mind paying a fortune as long as the food is really creative and well executed, but judging from the opinions of those who have been, this place sounds like just quality ingredients with not too much added to them, and they are just made look fancy and presentable with offensive pricing. Especially with thin chance of getting a reservation for a single diner (like myself), I won't try this out any time soon.

          1. Curious if anyone has been yet? Had reservations last night, but ended up canceling-- combination of a sick pet and once I saw the prices, I struggled to justify it. I don't have a sense of how big the plates are- with crudo, one would hope to be able to order a bunch of different dishes to try them all. But the prices look a bit high- think would rather go to 15 East.

            (Ate at Ichimura on Saturday and hurts too much to have another blow out meal right on the heels!)

            11 Replies
            1. re: pennylane17

              I was thinking of making reservations and thought the same thing - go to 15 East instead (which I haven't been but at the top of my list of places to go).

              1. re: deepfry7

                Had one of my worst dining experience at 15 East couple weeks ago. Went with 2 professional chefs and we all agreed it was horrible! Had recwnt meal twice at Brushstoke-Sublime!!!

                1. re: UES Mayor

                  Ouch! You mind elaborating on why it was so bad? I assume you were at the counter?

                  1. re: deepfry7

                    Just everything was average -I blocked the whole thing out of my mind already cause I felt so ripped off. It was over $600 for 3 people. I trully blocked it out already due to my terrible dining experience. We were served at a table. I remember the chawamushi being so pedestrian and am not that nit picky but for that price I want great food! I was comparing everything to the amazing food from Brushstroke and was so let down. Meanwhile I love Tocquoville.

                    1. re: UES Mayor

                      In general, you'll probably find your sushi experiences to be far better when you're seated at the sushi counter.

                      15 East is no exception - I ate there at a table once, and found it to be ok, but unimpressive. The sushi bar, however, has some of the best sushi in the city.

                      1. re: lexismore

                        Since I'm the OP, I guess it's OK to go off-topic. :)

                        I don't get to do that much high-end sushi, but I'm curious why this is the case that the sushi bar is a much better experience. Is it that you get pieces one a time at the counter vs. all plated at a regular table?

                        1. re: deepfry7

                          The pieces served one at a time do make a difference and Masato serves you at the bar vs his sous chefs making up the pieces for the dining room... I think you get more unique pieces and Masato will change up the omakase selection based on your likes, feedback or questions. When we have observed others trying something unique or a new fish we haven't tried, he has generously sliced us some to try. It's just a more personal experience.

                          1. re: deepfry7

                            I'm sure I've missed something, but here's a (rather long) explanation of why I prefer to sit at the sushi bar.

                            One piece at a time vs all at once is one reason - sushi has a very short half-life. When you get, say, a 10 piece set of nigiri at a table, the chef has to make all 10 pieces, plus whatever else your table ordered. Then, once you actually get your dish, which ever piece you eat last is sitting on your plate until you get to it. Rice loses moisture, nori becomes less crispy, etc. Compare that to sitting at the bar, the chef makes a piece and you eat it within seconds. It may not seem like it would make a huge difference, but try it and I bet you'll notice one.

                            Interaction with the chef is huge. This happens more when you frequent a place, but good chefs will still provide you with an enjoyable experience on a first visit. At the beginning of the meal, most will ask for any dislikes, and you can also note any particular favorites. The chef can then tailor the meal to your tastes as you go, giving you things to try that he thinks you may like.

                            Most sushi chefs have cool and delicious treats, often they're not even on the menu - they're not going to send them out to random tables, they're going to save them for people they know will appreciate them.

                            Another reason is order/progression of tastes - when you're served piece by piece, you're forced to eat in a certain order. Often this means you'll get more mild-tasting fish at the start, working your way up to stronger-tasting fish. The order can change - I've had progressions of textures, flavor, fattiness, anything really - but whatever the order is, it's usually quite deliberate.

                            Lastly, and this is not the case everywhere, but it certainly is at 15 East - the chef preparing sushi for tables is often not the same person serving at the bar. When Masato has a full bar, he's focused on them, and he has other people to make sushi for the tables. Many of them are very capable, but I imagine many people (especially people on this board) head to 15 East expecting their sushi to be made by the head chef.

                    2. re: UES Mayor

                      I echo the request-- can you share what happened (guess we should start a new thread?). I eat at 15 east regularly and absolutely love it-- admittedly, I only eat at the sushi bar and very rarely at a table, but walked out of Ichimura last weekend and we both agreed, rather go to 15 East any day.

                      1. re: UES Mayor

                        Can you explain what went wrong with 15 East? I really didnt like my recent meal at Ichimura at all. BTW anyone planning on going to 15 East and eating at the counter, Masato san is on vacation for the next 3 weeks.

                        1. re: Shirang

                          Ichimura in my experience was good-but did not wow me as I had expected. The dining experience at Brushstroke located in same space was what drew me originally to Ichimura. For just sushi/sashimi I much prefer Sassabune or Sushi of Gari on the upper east. Tanoshi is not bad either.