Monday, September 30, 2013

Sushi Dojo

Sushi Dojo is the new sushi haven in the East Village run by chef David Bouhadana of Morimoto fame. If you are a purist sushi lover, I highly recommend it. It's not the kind of place you go if your sushi of choice is say, doused in spicy mayo or called something like the "New York Spectacular Roll". This place is legit. Pure. No wasabi. No soy. Just clean, fresh, delicious fish. You gotta love fish, and you have to be able to appreciate the simplicity of it.

Sushi Dojo is a small spot, decorated simply, giving it a clean and intimate feel. You're not coming here for the atmosphere. On a Saturday night, it was pretty quiet, though almost full. You can have a conversation without screaming, and it would probably work well as a date spot. There is also a nice size Sake list, which the sommelier Max is more than happy to help you out with. 
I started my meal with a bunch of appetizers including tempura battered Grilled Shisito Peppers, Nasu Nibitashi lightly fried eggplant marinated with dashi, and Ohitashi which is a mixture of mushrooms and spinach. I wouldn't order any of these again. Tiny portions and not even a little bit memorable. The Tuna Tartare was the best of the appetizers, but even that photographed better than it actually tasted. At this point I'm wondering what all the fuss is about here. 

Just stick with the sushi. This is where it is at. I went for the 10 piece Omakase Sushi Deluxe, which at $45 is a huge bargain. Out came 10 beautifully selected pieces of clean, unadorned and unembellished delicious fish. Highlights for me was the Tasmanian Trout, and Fatty Tuna. Each delectable morsel slid down my throat with not an ounce of fishiness and even my companion, not a huge raw fish guy at all, thouroughly enjoyed his meal.

We didn't leave overly stuffed, but it was sufficient. Nice waitstaff, friendly relaxed vibe, and simple fresh fish. And although I wouldn't call it cheap, Dojo definitely offers good value for the quality of fish you are being served.

Neighborhood: East Village 

Bite Mark: ***

Good For: Pure Sushi, Date Night, Solo Dining 

Sushi Dojo, 110 1st Ave between 6th & 7th Street 

Monday, September 16, 2013

Atrium Dumbo

Modern and warm ambiance, exposed shrubbery, super friendly service and a large open kitchen are some of the things you will find in the new Dumbo hotspot, Atrium. Only about 8 weeks old and situated in the old Governor space, Atrium and Chef Laurent seem to be doing something right. The waitstaff is extremely friendly and helpful, the drinks all sound incredible, and the food coming out of the kitchen wasn't half bad. 

I stopped in for a late brunch on Sunday prior to heading to Brooklyn Bridge Park and had an excellent experience. Cold refreshing glass of Rose to start definitely helps. We had the Gazpacho, but that was just fair. I've had better and wouldn't order this again. The Quinoa Tagliatelle on the other hand was really delicious. Light but still creamy, I liked the addition of lemon combined with cauliflower and cumin. Great, great dish. We also tried the Strawberry Shortcake which was not anything new and exciting but still a classic well done dish. Shortcake coupled with mascarpone, balsamic and a scoop of vanilla ice cream will do that. 

Steps away from the park, and next door to the now shuttered Bubby's, the location is perfect. Add in a smiling helpful staff, decent fresh food an drinks and comfy yet modern decor, and you've got yourself a winning combination. 

Welcome to the neighborhood!

Neighborhood: DUMBO, Brooklyn

Bite Mark: ***

Good For: Brunch, Cocktails, After Work, Date Night

Atrium Dumbo, 15 Main Street bet Water & Plymouth St