Friday, April 30, 2010

Breakfast at Sabrina's Cafe

This week I will be highlighting meals I had on a recent trip to Philadelphia. While I'm not of the mind to think of the City of Brotherly Love as the 6th borough, I do love the fact that it's super easy & quick to get to, and there's tons of amazing food to sample while you're there. AND, Brownstoner just launched a Philadelphia chapter, so the overlaps are numerous and increasing.

Holy Shit! That's kind of all I need to say about the breakfast I had at Sabrina's Cafe (1802 Callowhill Street, between N. 18th & N. 19th, 215-636-9061) in Philadelphia. Woah! Let's start with the totally awesome and fun space - huge and open, with an open kitchen, tons of great artwork on the walls, knick knacks and tchotchkes and colorful tables and chairs, mixing styles and eras like there was no tomorrow. Now, let's move on to the food.

Stuffed Caramelized Challah French Toast with Cream Cheese & Bananas topped with Vanilla Bean Maple Syrup. This was No. Joke. I can't believe how decadent and creamy and sweet and over the top this was. Thank God I was sharing otherwise I might've had a seizure. I can't really say more. It was amazing and delicious and overwhelming and I loved it.

We also got an egg dish that consisted of Poached Eggs on English Muffins with Bacon & Spinach topped with Hollandaise Sauce. This too was decadent, but it a very different way. The portions were substantial, the flavors clean and strong and the eggs were poached expertly, with no runny white bits. Phew! The potatoes were decent - your basic roasted chunks of pillowy soft carb. Delicious with salt and pepper.

There's another Sabrina's on Christian St. and they offer gift certificates. You will not go wrong if this is the gift you give someone!

Sabrina's Café and Spencer's Too on Urbanspoon

Thursday, April 29, 2010


This week I will be highlighting meals I had on a recent trip to Philadelphia. While I'm not of the mind to think of the City of Brotherly Love as the 6th borough, I do love the fact that it's super easy & quick to get to, and there's tons of amazing food to sample while you're there. AND, Brownstoner just launched a Philadelphia chapter, so the overlaps are numerous and increasing.

Of course, while walking around city you don't know, it's important to have snacks and treats to keep your energy up, and to assess the treat-making chops of said city. And any trip to Philadelphia deserves a tip to the Famous Reading Terminal Market and therefore a trip to the Famous 4th Street Cookie Company (1136 Arch Street, between N. 11th & N. 12th, 215-625-9870). It was here that I picked up one of their giant Chocolate Chip Cookies. Oh it was good. With huge chunks of chocolate and crispy, buttery cookie. It was excellent.

In another part of town I found Tarts (212 Arch St., between N. 2nd & N. 3rd, 215-625-2510), a tiny shack of a place selling all manner of baked goods and pastries. My eye caught on a pink and sparkly heart. I was expecting sugar cookie, but it was thicker and softer than a classic sugar treat. It also had a slight almond or coconut flavor. I liked it, but it was a little too sweet, and I would have preferred something more buttery. It was beautiful though, and would add a festive touch to a dessert plate served to guests after dinner with coffee and tea.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Brunch at Farmicia

This week I will be highlighting meals I had on a recent trip to Philadelphia. While I'm not of the mind to think of the City of Brotherly Love as the 6th borough, I do love the fact that it's super easy & quick to get to, and there's tons of amazing food to sample while you're there. AND, Brownstoner just launched a Philadelphia chapter, so the overlaps are numerous and increasing.

Next on our trip was a visit to Farmicia (15 S. 3rd, between Market & Chestnut, 215-627-6274) for Brunch. It's a really popular spot and I recommend making reservations, as we had to sit at the bar because tables were being held for those who had reserved them. Sitting at the bar was nice, but I noticed that only half of the tables that were "reserved" had people sitting at them by the time we left. Not sure what that's about. It also seemed like there was MAJOR tension among the staff. There were a ton of wait staff, but a lot of people waiting around for menus, to have their orders taken and to receive water and drinks once they were ordered. It certainly was a weird, slightly unsettling experience, but we managed to go with the flow and be curious instead of upset with the slightly chaotic vibe.

The menu was full of delicious sounding dishes which made it difficult to narrow it down. It's created, as much as possible, around what's local, in season and sustainably raised. We eventually decided on one savory, one sweet and a side. Our savory dish was Scrambled Eggs with Cheesy Grits, toast and two, large breakfast sausage links. The grits were creamy and had just enough cheese grated into them which melted and created a nice, thick texture. The eggs were substantial and basic but the sausages were incredible. Juicy and flavorful, slightly sweet, just salty enough, they were the highlight of the dish.

The sweet dish we chose was the Brioche French Toast with a Pear & Cherry compote. This dish was incredible. The warm sweet pears and the tart cherries added just the right amount of sweet to the brioche. Real maple syrup was also available, but wasn't necessary.

We also got an order of plain yogurt and a side of fruit. I think our eyes were bigger than or stomachs, because while tasty and fresh, we were both pretty full by the time we got to this!

I would love to go back to try dinner, and one of the amazing-sounding specialty cocktails they make. Definitely a special spot, perfect for celebrating.

Farmicia on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Dinner at the Bubble House

This week I will be highlighting meals I had on a recent trip to Philadelphia. While I'm not of the mind to think of the City of Brotherly Love as the 6th borough, I do love the fact that it's super easy & quick to get to, and there's tons of amazing food to sample while you're there. AND, Brownstoner just launched a Philadelphia chapter, so the overlaps are numerous and increasing.

Our first dinner in the City took us to the area around the University. We were going to go to the widely-known White Dog Cafe, but they were only serving a Pre-Fixe menu we weren't interested in, so we ended up going to the The Bubble House (3404 Sansom Street, between S. 34th and S. 36th, 215-243-0804), an Asian Fusion restaurant and Tea House. There's a really casual front room, a 'back porch' feeling vibe in the room at the back, and then a section with private booths made with light blond wood and decorated with hanging plants. We settled in, ordered some amazing cocktails (Chai Bubble Tea with Vodka & Kahlua, Pomegranate Martini) and picked some food.

We started with the Vegetable Lemongrass Dumplings, served with a soy vinaigrette sauce for dipping. Five tender pockets filled with shredded carrots, celery & lemongrass, served steamed arrived and were a plump and tasty start to our meal.

For my entree, I picked the Sesame Seared Tuna with Jasmine rice, Baby Bok Choy and Sweet Chili Aioli. The tuna was a bit overcooked, as was the rice, and the bok choy was nearly nonexistent. Instead of the leafy tops, I got mostly watery stalk. It was a little like they were trying to hard to be "fancy". However, the seasoning was delicious, and I loved the crunch of the black sesame seeds. For some reason, despite all the weird parts to this dish, I loved it. Everything was in alignment that night which contributed to my being able to overlook these minor disappointments. Our waitress was awesome, the drinks were fantastic and I had great company.

For his entree, my boyfriend ordered the Grilled Denver Cute Steak with Wasabi Mashed Potatoes, Sauteed Spinach and a Black Pepper Garlic Sauce. This, too, was overcooked and a little on the small side. But it was good enough, comforting, and in a way, perfect.

It's definitely a college neighborhood place. But I've got to tell you, I've been thinking about those Bubble Tea Cocktails ever since!

Bubble House on Urbanspoon

Monday, April 26, 2010

Lunch at N. 3rd

This week I will be highlighting meals I had on a recent trip to Philadelphia. While I'm not of the mind to think of the City of Brotherly Love as the 6th borough, I do love the fact that it's super easy & quick to get to, and there's tons of amazing food to sample while you're there. AND, Brownstoner just launched a Philadelphia chapter,so the overlaps are numerous and increasing.

Our first meal in Philly was lunch at N. 3rd (801 N. 3rd, at the corner of Brown St., 215-413-3666), a really cool bar/restaurant that's dark and cozy and packed with all sorts of loud & lavish art, sculpture & trinkets. We ordered a couple of pints and settled in.

We started with a huge salad made with mixed greens & Bibb lettuce, slivers of Granny Smith apple, red onion, candied pecans, bacon and blue cheese, mixed with a tangy, creamy dressing. I loved this salad - the way all the flavors both stood out individually and mingled beautifully.

We also got a Crispy Chicken Sandwich with guacamole, bacon, tomato, mayo and fries. Served on fluffy potato bread, this sandwich was giant! It was perfect to share and a delight to eat. Slices of perfectly cooked bacon combined with juicy, crispy chicken made for a satisfying treat. The fries were good too - skin on, well-done and nicely salted.

I loved this place and wish there were more basic, funky pub-like spots in Brooklyn.

North Third on Urbanspoon

Friday, April 23, 2010

Brunch at The Brooklyn Public House

Brooklyn Public House (247 DeKalb Ave., between Vanderbilt & Clermont, 347-227-8976) is an Irish pub, complete with Van Morrison on the stereo, wallpaper in cream & burgundy and Irish flags scattered about. There's exposed brick, hanging flower pots, and red leather booths that add to the homey and cozy quality of the space. The Sunday papers are available for patrons to peruse while dining, and there's seating in the bar area or in a separate room in the rear. On this visit, my friend and I sat in the window and enjoyed the sunshine in what felt like our own private nook.

I was tempted by the Pumpkin Pancakes and found them to be quite good. They were fluffy and moist, with a subtle pumpkin flavor that did not overwhelm. I thought the few lettuce leaves on the side an afterthought, and wished instead I'd had some slices of apples or a few berries. The maple syrup seemed real though, but that minor change would improve the situation greatly.

I also got a side of bacon with my pancakes. The strips were meaty and nicely cooked, but I found them to be a bit bland. Something more smoky or spicy would have been tastier and would have provided a nice counterpoint to the sweet pancakes.

My friend chose to get the Crabcake Eggs Benedict with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce. (Look at her awesome multi-colored sweater in the background!). This dish does not look appetizing to me. The red pepper sauce looks too neon and weird. The crabcakes were good though - dense, moist and flavorful, as were the potatoes - nice and crisp, although they needed some more seasoning. Again, the three limp leaves of lettuce was forgettable. Either don't give me any, or give me a handful and some balsamic and call it a side salad.

It was a decent Brunch, and I'm interested to see what they do for dinner, but I'm not about to rush back there. Anybody been and want to let me know how it was? It might just be a better bet for beers - they've got 20+ on tap and maybe twice that in bottles.

Brooklyn Public House on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Food News!

Starting tonight, the Slow Food NYC Book Club will launch its inaugural meeting at Book Court (163 Court St., between Dean St. & Pacific St.) in Cobble Hill. At 7pm, David Kirby, author of "Animal Factory" will be available to discuss his book. You'll also be able to get 20% off the book if you buy it at Book Court. On May 19th, you can go talk about "Diet For a Hot Planet" with author Anna Lappé, daughter of Frances Moore Lappé, author of "Diet for a Small Planet". Good & important stuff!

Peeled Snacks has a new flavor out! It's called CApricot (as in California Apricot) and can be found only at Starbucks and Peeled Snacks themselves. They only use high quality fruits & nuts and now recycle their packaging!

May 5th is Cinco de Mayo and that means it's time for the 2nd Annual Guactacular!!! Taking place again at The Bell House, this year's competition is being sponsored by Mission Foods, so there will be plenty of restaurant-style tortilla chips to sample all that guac with! Tecate and Dos Equis beers will be available as well as music and prizes from local restaurants. Check Nachos NY for more information, or the Bell House website for tickets.

Also coming up in May is Mother's Day (Sunday May 9th) and Clinton Hill's Autour du Monde (860 Fulton St., corner of Clinton Ave., 718-398-3500) will be offering up a special Louisiana-style Brunch! The food is organic and while I haven't been there myself, the menu definitely looks appetizing. From Beignets to Po Boy sandwiches and a Mardi Gras Cosmo, I'm totally intrigued. Anyone been there care to weigh in?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Dinner at Fatty 'Cue

Since I do most of my living and eating in Brooklyn, I've not yet been to the mini-empire of Fatty Crab, the Malaysian-inspired seafood-heavy restaurants that are super popular in Manhattan. So, I was curious when Fatty 'Cue (91 South 6th, between Bedford & Berry, 718-599-3090) opened up not even a month ago in Williamsburg and headed over with some friends to see what all the fuss was about. What. A. Scene. Dudes in Supreme hats, women dressed in vintage, and music blasting at a level that actually made me clutch my head in discomfort. Since our table was in the bar area, we had to ask about three or four times to have it turned down. I'm not a kill-joy, it's just that I don't enjoy losing my voice during dinner conversation and don't want to develop tinnitus. Once they did turn the volume down I was able to actually hear that they were playing good music. Old Beasties and Snoop; nice touch.

Fatty 'Cue really lives up to its name. The food is decadent, smoky and fatty and is served all at once to encourage sharing, which I love. That way you get to taste everything and ordering requires group effort. I'll start with describing the Food Specials. The House Cured Beef Bacon in Sherry Bouillon with Poached Egg & Lovage, a celery-like green was my favorite. The broth is full flavored & very salty with substantial chunks of tender, falling-apart meat. I also love anything with a poached egg, which added a nice, creamy touch to the entire dish.

The other Food Special was the Seafood Sausage, a cold smoked shrimp & scallop sausage with green curry and charred spring onion. This was surprising. It was delicate and fresh-tasting with a slightly spicy curry sauce. It didn't taste particularly seafood-y, but was more like chicken sausage.

From the list of Specialties we ordered the Pork Spare Ribs with smoked fish/palm syrup and Indonesian long pepper. These were smoky, tender, juicy and slightly sweet. Fun to eat with your hands, they come three to an order, $5 for each extra rib.

Another Specialty we chose was the Bobo Chicken with a red onion, chili & cucumber condiment. This was fantastic, with the big chunks of chicken a deep, smoky flavor, yet moist and delicious. I was really impressed with the chicken, and the sauce on the side was like summer in a bowl. We ended up asking for more it was so good.

The Red Curry Rubbed Duck with sweet pickled daikon was another Specialty we got. The first piece I took from the plate was small and therefore crispy and well-done. The second piece was very rare and lacked the flavor the first piece had. This was the least interesting dish to me out of the bunch.

Then there was the American Wagyu Brisket with chili jam, bao, pickled red onion and bone broth. I think the Bao bun was the best part of this. You basically make your own little brisket sandwich, with either a garlic aioli or chili jam as your condiment and thin-sliced or chunks of brisket. The chunks had more flavor and were more heavily salted than the drier, thinner slices. The bun was soft, pillowy and perfect with the chewy meat and stalks of cilantro.

From the list of Snacks we got just the 'Cue Coriander Bacon, with toast and steamed curry custard. This was a crazy dish. Sort of like bacon candy with thick slices of fatty, sweet, and succulent meat. Totally decadent and over the top, some pieces barely had any meat on them, but were fantastic nonetheless. The yellow curry custard provided a sharp tang that nicely complimented the greasy bacon.

We were pretty satisfied after all that, but my friend couldn't resist getting a slice of the Shoo Fly Pie, a favorite from her childhood. The waiter placed it down on our table and proceeded to poured some cream over it. I'm not sure I've ever had Shoo Fly Pie before, and found it to be like a cross betwee Oatmeal Raisin Cookies & Pecan Pie. I think it's the molasses on the bottom. It was good, with a flaky, buttery crust.

Along with a few wines and draft beers, there are a ton of canned beer and a number of cocktails to choose from. I liked the refreshing The South 6th made with gin or vodka, cucumber, Thai basil, lemon & Ginger ale. My friend enjoyed the Big Ben (Benromach Scotch, St. Germain, Campari & Orange), but it felt like sipping the aftermath of a campfire. There was also a constant backup at the bar, so it took a while to get our drinks. The food was delicious and I appreciate the use of local and humanely grown/raised/fished products and the slow-food methods of preparation, but all those plates really add up. Also, make sure you get a table in one of the dining rooms instead of the bar.

Fatty 'Cue on Urbanspoon

Friday, April 16, 2010

Dinner at Sel de Mer

It's hard to keep up with all the amazing new restaurants opening up around Brooklyn! Luckily I have friends in a number of neighborhoods, and I can combine socializing with checking out the newest spots. Recently I went to check out a friend's new digs and we celebrated her move with dinner at Sel de Mer (374 Graham Ave., between Conselyea St. and Skillman Ave., 718-387-4181). Mmmmm. Everything on the menu looked good and tempted us. Alas, we had to narrow our choices down, but now I have another reason to head to Graham Ave!

We started out by sharing an order of Fried Green Tomatoes with frisee and brie and a tasty, tangy remoulade. The tomatoes were lightly battered and fried and were tender and juicy. The brie was substantial and the wiry frisee added a crunchy bite. Plus it was gorgeous in its presentation.

I chose to order the Mini Fish Sliders with Slaw for my entree. Two nicely sized sandwiches arrived packed with a fishcake, arugula, ruby red tomatoes and tartar sauce AND a big mound of a slightly curry-flavored slaw. Pink and glorious is was tangy, full-flavored and delicious. A nice take on the mayonnaise-heavy classic.

My friend ordered the Burger with Gouda and instead of fries got a side of Corn on the Cob and the Slaw. The burger was served on a toasted English muffin and was juicy, robust and was made with freshly ground beef.

We then decided to get an order of the Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Ice Cream for dessert. I found it to be underwhelming. The cake was too light & fluffy and I prefer dense, moist and gooey cake. The vanilla ice cream also had a flat flavor to it. I'll make sure to try something else next time.

I really liked Sel de Mer and am excited to go back to taste more of their seafood options like the Mussels, Whole Fish entrees and Smoked Trout Salad. They also have a nice wine list and a cocktail menu with inventive, tasty-sounding drinks.

Sel de Mer on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Food News!

Get your tickets ahead of time for Austria Uncorked, a benefit for GrowNYC's "Learn It, Grow It, Eat It"! Eat It Brooklyn readers can use the code BLOGAUSTRIA for $5 off ticket prices, plus, you can enter to win free passes to the event, which will include food from some of New York's top restaurants, including Wallsé, BLT Prime, 10 Downing Food & Wine, Telepan and Recette. I know, none of the participating restaurants are in Brooklyn, but GrowNYC is a great "education program which empowers teens to take control of their health through hands-on gardening, nutrition education, outreach, and managing a community farm-stand", some of which takes place in Brooklyn.

The event will take place on Wednesday, May 5th at Tribeca Rooftop from 6 - 9pm. For more information and to purchase tickets, click here! For a chance to win those free tickets, go here! Good luck!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Dinner at Ferdinando's

I've been hesitant to write about Ferdinando's (151 Union Street, between Hicks and Columbia, 718-855-1545) because I like to think of it as my little secret, even though the likes of Martin Scorsese has eaten there and lots of people know about it, but it's just so damn good I can't help but sing it's praises. It will also always have a spot in my heart because I went here on the day I got my braces and my mouth hurt so bad I could barely eat. The waitress brought me my first rice ball and said it's what she gave her son when he got his braces because it's so soft and tender. Well, I'm happy to report that the Arancina Special is still as delicious as it was that first day I had it.

On this most recent visit I ordered the Rice Ball with meat and peas, covered in tomato sauce and cheese and topped with thick and creamy ricotta cheese. The mushy consistency of the rice is so comforting and the slight bite of the ground beef and peas fills things out. It's decadent and amazing and I could eat one every day.

We also got another Ferdinando's classic dish, a Panelle sandwich. A chickpea croquette topped with a gigantic dollop of ricotta cheese plus grated Parmesan on a big, fluffy roll. The Parmesan isn't as strong as I like, but this sandwich is tasty enough without the added flavor. I also took the top of the roll off and ate it open-faced as it's pretty large!

Even though I knew this was plenty of food, my boyfriend insisted on getting a pasta dish. We ordered the Pappardelle alla Boscaiola, hand cut pasta with fried eggplant, sun-dried tomatoes and mushrooms. The pasta was fresh, and the tomatoes were large and plentiful, but I'm pretty sure the mushrooms were from a can. It was also a pretty greasy dish, with oil pooled at the bottom of the dish. Probably not the best dish to order. In the future I'll stick with tomato sauces or Parmigiana.

Wait, there's more! I know, it's crazy, but I often say I have an extra little stomach for desserts and I wasn't leaving Ferdinando's without a cannoli. They make the BEST cannoli! Seriously. The pastry part is crisp, the cream filling is thick and slightly almond & vanilla flavored and it doesn't have any extraneous chocolate chips or weird bits in it. It's pure and simple and perfect.

Ferdinando's Focacceria Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Friday, April 9, 2010

Lunch at Iris Cafe

Everybody is talking about Iris Cafe (20 Columbia Place, between State St. & Joralemon St., 718-722-7255). Having only opened this past November, it's already won the honor of being New York Magazine's pick for Best Cafe! Located on the cutest, smallest, quietest block in a small corner of Brooklyn Heights, the space itself is also terrific. Big and airy and quaint, there's plenty of space to hang out to sit and eat or read the paper. Even the little bathroom is sweet, with wildflowers in glass bottles and a window looking out onto the ivy-covered wall supporting the BQE going past. I went by one late afternoon with a friend to grab lunch, and we were both happy with our experience. The staff were super friendly and happy to be there, and you can get market-type stuff like eggs, butter and milk!

I ordered the Avocado and Cheddar Sandwich on Whole Grain Bread, with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers and a spicy Aioli mayonnaise. The bread was lightly toasted and the warmth enhanced all the flavors. Packed with quality ingredients and coming on a big sheet of brown paper, it was a most delicious and beautiful dish!

My friend went the Salad route and got one with Sliced Boiled Egg, Ham, Cucmber, Walnuts and Corn. Fresh, crispy and flavorful, she enjoyed every bite and polished it off within minutes.

I couldn't resist getting a little dessert for later, and chose the Black Bottom Cupcake. It was good, but I would've liked more of the cream cheese stuff that you can see on top. It was light and fluffy, but a bit too subtle tasting, whereas the cheese was sweet and tangy but was so concentrated on top not enough of it went around to the rest of the cake.

A MINOR blip in an otherwise terrific experience. Can't wait to go back in the morning for an Egg Sandwich and Coffee.

Iris Cafe on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Food News!

Oooops! I got the date wrong. Notice, the GFM is back on Saturday!

The Greenpoint Food Market (129 Russell Street, between Nassau & Driggs Ave.) will be back this Saturday, April 10th with it's Spring Awakening! From Noon to 5pm you'll be able to sample ice cream, vegan pate, jam, kimchi and much much more. The People's Champs will perform between 2 & 3pm, and you'll also have DJ Cowboy Mark as well. They have a crazy long roster of folks gearing up to sell you some awesome homemade niceness, so check it out and support local crafters!

Then on Sunday, April 11th, there will be a fundraiser for Hot Bread Kitchen, a Brooklyn non-profit 501c3 venture that provides immigrant women training in the art of baking. "Hot Bread Kitchen uses traditional techniques and recipes to produce a range of organic ethnic breads that reflect the diversity of New York City, and they improve standard of living by hiring and training immigrant women in valuable job skills. While the Kitchen is located in the Old Can Factory in 3rd Street and 3rd Avenue, the fundraiser will be hosted by TasteBudsNYC and will taking place at Jimmy's No. 43. For information and tickets contact Heidi at Heidi(at)

AND...also on Sunday, the Carroll Gardens Farmer's Market is back this Sunday, and every Sunday thereafter until December. Yahoo! Grazin' Angus Acres, Consider Bardwell Cheese (check out the pics of baby goats on Facebook!), Bread, fresh fish, milk, veggies and eggs! Yahoo!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Dinner at Zenkichi

I was invited recently to dine at Zenkichi (77 N.6th Street, at the corner of Wythe, 718-388-8985), the Japanese Brasserie that offers a range of traditional Japanese items, not the usual Sushi and Yakitori. You can order items a la carte, (like Wasabi cured Octopus, Duck Salad or Sashimi), but what's recommended is the seasonal 8-course Chef's tasting menu that changes every 5-7 weeks that provides plenty of opportunity to sample a number of items in a mostly small-plate format. The maze-like space, with dark lighting, mirrors, and private rooms with bamboo screens that roll down to enclose you and your dining companion in your own little room, creates a quiet and slightly mysterious atmosphere and allows you to focus on the food, which is definitely worth paying attention to.

The 8-course tasting menu started off with a bowl of miso soup, which, unlike previous experiences, had little pieces of some kind of starchy root vegetable instead of tofu. Slices of scallion were also mixed into the delicious, soothing broth.

The second course consisted of a platter of four different items: a spoon of Hamachi Tartar (yellowtail & scallion), a tiny bowl of shredded cabbage with vinegar, seared scallops and a small bowl of creamy tofu topped with uni sea urchin. The fresh tofu was of a consistency I've never had it - creamy and soft, with the strange textured sea urchin paired with it. The Hamachi Tartar was excellently fresh and flavorful, the cabbage refreshing & tart and the scallops tender and meaty. Everything was also beautifully presented.

Our next course was Jidori and Shinoko Salad - grilled free-range chicken & mushrooms on a bed of greens with an onion-ginger dressing. The chicken was so tasty - expertly grilled and seasoned, on a full bed of greens with a savory, full-flavored dressing.

The Shrimp, Uni Sea Urchin & Cod Fish Cake Tempura, wrapped in Shiso Leaf and Lotus Root was next, and it came with a bowl of tempura sauce and a dish of green tea salt that was so delicious and appealing, we were dipping our fingers in it! The tempura batter was light and the shrimp was tender and fresh. Each course was only a bite or two, which made for fun and exciting eating, enjoying one course and then expectantly waiting for the next.

Then we were brought a dish with Japanese Eggplant and Mochi Sticky Rice Cake in a light broth. The juxtaposition of the mushy, tasty eggplant and the chewy mochi rice cake was so strange and intriguing. I loved it!

Next was my favorite - the Grilled Black Cod in a Miso Marinade. The sweet & salty blackened skin was delicious next to the dense and meaty cod. It made us swoon! A little pink flower of daikon radish accompanied the fish.

Finally we received a bowl of Soy-Marinaded Red Snapper over a bowl of Rice. Again, the fish was so tender, so fresh and tasty, it was almost unbelievable. Some pickled radish was served with it to provide some tang.

All along we were sipping glasses of Kokuryu Sake, which was a strong, round, rice-y sake that I loved. The Sake Sommelier, Motoko Watanabe, made a few suggestions prior to our meal and brought out tastes of a few bottles. There was also a young, first-batch sake (Harushika), Bosha which was very floral, and the Daishichi which was very sharp and strong. And, after all that food, we had dessert to look forward to.

The chocolate-based Frozen Black Sesame Mousse that was incredible, silky and strangely nutty.

We also got an order of the Japanese-style non-baked Cheesecake with Pear. It was creamy and light and the touch of pear was a lovely addition.

So let me sum-up! I know I often speak in hyperbole, but this really was a most perfect and delicious meal. The sake was delicious, the food was amazing, the service impeccable and attentive. At only $48 per person for the 8-course tasting menu, it really is an affordable way to have a decadent, luxurious meal.

Zenkichi on Urbanspoon