Thursday, August 9, 2012

NYC - Two more stars chez Soto

After barely a week at home, I'm on the road again.  This time to New York.  I'm part of the recruiting team that the firm sent to interview students at one of the law schools here.  I took the train up this afternoon so that I'd be ready for the interviews first thing in the morning.  Although I have plenty of work to do (why do I perpetually feel like I have one project too many?), I wasn't going to pass up an opportunity to add a few more Michelin stars to my flag -- not when a friend of mine offered to take me to a two-starred Japanese place, which he claimed had the best sushi ever. 

That's how I ended up at Soto, a tiny, unmarked restaurant in the West Village, only a few blocks from where I used to live. 

I love going to restaurants that can't be bothered
with such pedestrian things as signs
The restaurant's website is currently under construction, but here's a link to the New York Times' review.  The food was exquisite in its beauty and subtlety of flavor -- definitely worth the two stars.  But the overall experience wasn't quite as polished as it could have been.  Lacking any pre-set menus, I was left to pore over a menu that felt a tad intimidating (I missed the zen-like simplicity and the revelatory eggplant of Azabu, the Japanese restaurant where I celebrated Thanksgiving in Paris last year).  And the service wasn't quite as quick and attentive as other two-star restaurants (they didn't greet us by name, as they did at Gilt earlier this year).  On the other hand, it was neat to see Soto himself working behind the sushi bar.  And the atmosphere was wonderfully relaxed -- it's a place that makes you feel like you could become a regular (and with such food, that's a very tempting thought indeed).

Goma tofu

Salmon citrus

Fluke Usuzukuri

Tar tare tuna roll

Cyu toro tartare

Uni Ika Kelp (sea urchin with squid and wrapped in white kelp)
This one tasted to me the way roses smell -- not in a literal, rosy way
 but in a velvety sensuous way.

1 comment:

chitarita said...

Mmm... that eggplant...