The scoop: Once upon a time, there was a sweaty, ventilation-free
Ichimura NYCA Brush with Sushi Perfection
The inside scoop: Not to get all philosophical, but in life, no matter how good you’ve got it, there’s almost always something better out there… until, all of the sudden, there’s not. There’s flying First Class on Singapore, then there’s flying private on a G6. There’s slipping past the doorman at 1 Oak, then there’s being invited to join Leo and his gaggle of Victoria’s Secret beauties in VIP. The same applies to dining at the acclaimed Brushstroke by David Bouley. Brushstroke as a whole is pretty impressive, but we recommend using your charming wit and devastatingly good looks to snag one of the 12 coveted seats at Chef Ichimura’s sushi bar. If that fails, call way ahead of time for a reservation.
The space: The former beloved Austrian restaurant, Danube, leaves no trace of its art-filled, velvet banquet, plush décor existence. In its place is an authentic Tokyo scene, dominated by a minimalist main sushi bar and light-wood beams with metal accents. Conversation is muted – there seems to be a reverence for the experience. Ichimura’s sushi bar, like any self-respecting VIP area, is set away from the formal dining in its own exclusive room. From the outside, it actually looks like the coatroom. Inside, get up close and personal with Ichimura over the course of a 2-plus hour meal (at least). So settle in, order up a bottle of sake, and relax.
The menu: It goes without saying that there’s no spicy tuna roll on this menu. Your options are omakase, omakase, and omakase. Brushstroke’s $85 6-course tasting menu offers a combination of sashimi, vegetables, and cooked dishes. At Ichimura, it’s hardcore traditional sushi. Menus start at $160, but count on $185 and up, depending on how adventurous you are. You’ll get at least 8 courses of sashimi and sushi, and you will not be able to pronounce any of them. Many of the selections are highly prized fish flown in from Japan that morning and personally plated in front of you by Chef Ichimura. The non-sashimi/sushi course we received was a chawanmushi egg custard with black truffle, and a crab hand roll. Ichimura will tailor your order according to your own particular tastes and drink preferences. As if you’d expect anything less.
Ichimura at Brushstroke, 30 Hudson St., TriBeCa, 212-791-3771, davidbouley.com
(Photos courtesy of Ichimura at Brushstroke)