Posts tagged with "sake"

Sakaya, which means "sake shop" in Japanese, is a small, elegantly designed shop in New York City's East Village. It's just a few minutes walk from many of the popular izakayas and ramen shops in the neighborhood. The extensive selection of sake (nihon-shu) is curated by a husband and wife team - Hiroko Furukowa & Rick Smith. Their tastes are impeccable and their weekend sake tastings are a "must try" event when in the neighborhood on a Saturday afternoon. Read More...

There are few places in New York City where you legitimately feel like you could be sitting in Tokyo. Most places are either too big or too small or the proportions of the space are just off in some subtle way. Perhaps there's a Latino bus boy or English signage. There's almost always something that gives away that we're in the U.S. At Tori Shin you have to look very, very closely and the evidence only appeared in early 2012. Read More...

Essentially an izakaya is a Japanese tavern. But it's also Japanese tapas. And it's a Japanese gastropub. So perhaps the way to think of an izakaya is as a Japanese gastro-tapas-pub. Don't plan on having a 45 minute meal before a movie. Don't plan on going and having a starter, a main, and a dessert. Go planning on having a long, lingering meal over good drinks and better conversation with a group of great friends. Make an evening of it. Once you're in that mindset the rest is easy. Read More...

There's something about some izakayas that make you fee like you're sitting in someone's home. Perhaps no place in New York has a stronger sensation of that than Sun-Chan. When you sit at the yakitori bar you're in the kitchen being entertained by the co-owner "obasan" (grandmother) as she grills chicken, fish, onigiri (rice balls), and just anything else she pleases on her single small grill. She prepares the food by feel - touching the various meets with her bare fingers to test their texture and warmth. Read More...

There are some restaurants that are destinations and others that are comfortable neighborhood joints where you feel like a local even if you're not. Menchanko-Tei 55 falls into the latter category. It's a narrow izakaya in a nondescript area of Midtown Manhattan. The appeal is that it is situated in a relative food desert for good Japanese, several blocks away from any other restaurant of note with the exception of Katsu Hana (upstairs from Menchankto-Tei). The varnished wood walls give the place a warm feeling with its semi-open kitchen along one side. Read More...

Sake Bar Decibel claims to be the first sake bar in NYC, founded in 1993. But that's not what should draw you to Decibel. A simple wooden sign marks the exterior. An obscure (if you don't know why its there) illuminated "On Air" sign beckons you to a staircase leading to a basement on a side street in the East Village. Steps from 2nd Avenue, this Japanese speakeasy is easy to miss. You step into a small bar area and are transported into Tokyo's Golden Gai district, except not. The small bar (6-8 stools?) is much better equipped than anything you'll find in Golden Gai. A row of sake bottles beckons you to imbibe. A closer look also reveals shochu, Japanese whiskey, and other drinks. An even closer look... Read More...

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