Saturday, September 1, 2007

I (Heart) NYC (Part Deux)

Hope you all like the new format….I found the old one a bit hard to read and, well, I’m not exactly the fuchsia type of girl anyway! Also, if anyone knows where to get a decent slideshow, let me know. Thanks for your patience!

So, here’s part two of the NYC reunion. We last left off at lunch on Friday amidst a day of shopping. Friday night pre-dinner drinks were at some ultra hip bar that was the size of my living room and reminded me of postmodern Paris in it’s odd simplicity. We cooked dinner at the apartment and all enjoyed SR’s lentil salad and my white chocolate mousse. Then we went to meet friends at some random bar. It was very bright and quiet, but the company was great as usual.

Saturday was another day of wandering and shopping. We had lunch at Spring Street Natural Restaurant. It was very busy and loud, and quite honestly I think we were all just tired and hungover. I had a turkey sandwich with blueberry jam. It was good but very massive. We then went home and rested before the 9:30pm ressies at Nobu.

I was a bit hesitant about Nobu when it was first suggested due to its extreme popularity and fame. Really, Nobu Matsuhisa? I saw him on Regis and Kelly! He’s even been in a Gap ad for crying out loud! But…my curiosity for the food and freak fixation for Robert DeNiro got the best of me, so I put on the fancy dress and went with open arms and the camera ready.

For the second time on this trip, my immediate impressions of a restaurant were of total comfort. The muted colors and warm lighting highlighted the un-pretentiousness of the decor. We were seated at a round table near the front by the windows and immediately started on the task of ordering for six ladies. We choose to go the appetizers for the table route and then decide on sushi. So grab a drink and get comfortable….here’s the meal:

We started off with the Sashimi Salad. Seared tuna swimming in a “Matsuhisa” dressing and covered with greens and somen noodles, it was a great start to the meal. The fish was flawlessly cooked and the dressing with hints of soy and mirin (rice vinegar) was fantastic. We fought over the last piece of fish; I won.

Next we had my personal favorite: Yellowtail Sashimi with Jalapeno. A “tiradito style” of ceviche (a prime example of Nobu’s Japanese and South American fusion), the combination of pepper and lime brought a unique freshness that I’ve never tasted before. And as much as I’m not a fan of ceviche, this dish really knocked my socks off.

The mushroom salad was light and refreshing, but I honestly would never order it again. The only flavors that I remember are of mushrooms. (Alright, which might be the point).

The Rock Shrimp Tempura with creamy Ponzu sauce was another of my favorites. It was light on the tempura and the sauce had a perfect hint of tangy spice. I could’ve easily had this for an entrée.

Next we had the famous Squid “Pasta” with Garlic Sauce. Combined with asparagus and a light sauce, the squid eerily resembled penne pasta. It was quite light and tender.

The Eggplant with Miso was a hit at the table; I only really got one bite. It was beautifully presented, tender, and sweet.

Next was Nobu’s “signature dish”: Broiled Black Cod in Miso. Topped with a Hajikami (pickled ginger shoot), the dramatic presentation was a precursor to its flavor. I was absolutely floored at the flavor and simplicity of this dish. The fish, marinated in miso, mirin, sake and sugar was fall apart in your mouth delicious. I can easily understand why the Black Cod has stood the test of time and impressed many over the past thirteen years.

Yeah, I know this is kinda gross, but I forgot to take a picture of the sushi before we attacked it. The variety of sushi offered was not that impressive, really only basic rolls. We got a California, Spicy Tuna and Soft Shell Crab. And it was, well, sushi. The only highlight was the soft shell crab that was hot and crispy and was double wrapped in nori and rice paper.

We finished with the “Boku Box” dessert. The soufflé was made with Valrhona chocolate (fancy and French), served with white chocolate sauce, green tea ice cream and a shiso syrup. I had never heard of it either, so a quick google check provided that shiso is the Japanese term for perilla, an herb that is a member of the mint family. (Also, just in case your curiosity was getting the best of you, “boku” translates to wood or tree.)

Overall opinion of the restaurant? Let’s just put it this way: if there was a Nobu here in Orlando, I’d probably go often. Beyond the fame and all the fancy food, there was a strong professionalism that we don’t see often here. The meal was perfectly timed and there was never an interruption or hiccup in the flow. I left the restaurant with a feeling of excitement and my head spinning (the latter most likely aided by sake and white wine). If you’re taking a trip to the big apple anytime soon, I’d go ahead and fit Nobu into your schedule.

We capped off the night going to a party in Brooklyn to see some old friends from college, and again I was brought back to earth at the reminder of my un-hipness among the locals.

As much as I love going to the big city and sometimes even envy those who live there, I always love coming home to the familiar humidity and big blue sky!

PS. Thanks to AG for taking me to and fro the airport. Also for buying me a couple of gynormous margaritas to quell my post plane anxiety!

Nobu on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

Amy said...

I lovee the black cod too! YUMMY!