Saturday, January 5, 2013
I love this place. Then again, I went into it kinda knowing I was going to love it. Little Wisco and the Gabe Stulman crew can do no wrong in my eyes.
Chez Sardine is an intimate and fun Japanese fusion and sushi spot on West 10th street in the West Village. Rocking music (think Biggie Smalls), friendly service, and awesome food. Who wouldn't love a place with a mezuzah on the wall and a photo of Mr. Miyagi (Karate Kid) above the bar! Even though they made us wait a while on a cold Thursday night for a 9pm reservation, they were so apologetic and nice about it, it was hard to stay mad (the free round of salt cod fritters also didn't hurt).
We started with the Edamame with lime sea salt and another round of deliciously fried Cod Fritters. Then came the sushi pieces. I didn't think I was a big Mackeral fan (left), but it was smooth and silky and went down in one delicious bite. The Smoked Arctic Char (middle) was also great. Smoky and meaty tasting, get this. There was only one piece left of Hamachi (right) when we were there, and the 4 of us had to fight for it. So good. Each order only comes with one piece so be sure to order enough sushi, they are addicting.
Next came the Iceberg Wedge with creamy sesame dressing. Good, but not the reason you came here. The Sushi Rice Balls get mixed reviews, but I like it a lot. It was a mix of tuna, salmon, and mackerel sashimi, with deep fried rice balls with avocado, spicy mayo and tobiko. YUM. I also enjoyed the Breakfast Pancakes, with fish tartare, salmon roe and yogurt. May sound like a strange combo but it works. Smoked Cheddar Grilled Cheese (minus the Foie) was good but a little greasy, and would probably have been a whole lot better with the foie gras. Brussel Sprouts were sweet and tangy and went well with all the fish.
The highlight of the meal though, is their famous Miso Maple Salmon Head. Wow. It sounds gross, and looks kinda daunting but it is the BOMB. We destroyed it. All that was left was the sad looking eye ball. Little tough to find the meat, but definitely worth the effort. Just look at the before and after shot.
They finish off the meal by giving everyone a taste of Maple Pudding.
Great ending to a great meal.
Chez Sardine is a lot of fun, definitely a Brooklyn Bite approved spot. Go with 4 people so you can get a reservation online on their website. Cool, trendy, friendly staff, and delicious (but pricey) food. If you like fish and enjoy being a little adventurous, this place is definitely for you.
Neighborhood: West Village
Bite Mark: *** and a half
Good For: Date Spot, Drinks, Fresh Fish
Chez Sardine, 183 West 10th between W 4th & 7th Ave South 646-360-3705 www.chezsardine.com