Davelle, All-Day Japanese Cafe in LES

davelle, all-day cafe

Davelle, an all-day Japanese cafe in the LES, is a small and cozy little nook hidden away on an obscure corner of Suffolk St that takes a little effort to get to, but it’s certainly worth the trip. I’d walk many avenues east for multiple bites of the restaurant’s signature mochi mochi spaghetti, which sounds a bit dubious at first, especially when the waitress describes the ketchup sauce, but second and third helpings of the pasta will erase those doubts. And once you’re finished, which will be too quickly, you’ll start eyeing other parts of the menu, which changes as the day progress from breakfast, lunch to dinner. Those breakfast toast sets sound mighty delicious.Read More

Tetsu in Tribeca

the open grill at tetsu

It’s crazy to think that a meal at Masa in NYC, which costs ~$595 a person pretax, is comparable to the cost of a round-trip ticket to Europe somewhere. I’m not quite convinced that one meal, no matter how good, would ever be equivalent to a transcontinental getaway. Those of us priced out of Masa will never find out if the food there is worth an arm and a leg, but what we can do is go to its more accessible sister restaurant Tetsu, a Japanese robata newly opened in Tribeca, where dishes are comfortably priced in the single or double digit range.Read More

Ato in Soho

Ato is a restaurant that’s very easy to miss, even if you’re looking for it. It looks like an abandoned retail space from the outside with no obvious signage around. Once you do a double take and notice the menu taped out front, you might be inclined to enter, although you’ll still wonder if this place is fully open. Something about it feels like it hasn’t completely repurposed its original retail space as a restaurant, even though there is an omakase counter and proper tables set up in there. But sure enough, Ato is very much fully operating, despite looking like a work in progress.Read More

Sushi Lunch at Mifune

Here’s another excellent Midtown East lunch special that should be on your radar. Mifune is a high end Japanese restaurant run by a cast of pedigreed chefs who trained at some of the best restaurants in Paris. While a dinner tasting will run you $100 a person, or $250 if you do the omakase at the sushi bar Amane downstairs, the lunch menu entrees hover at around a reasonable $25.

mifune chirashi box
roasted duck breast with brown sugar vinegar sauce

The thing to get is definitely the Mifune chirashi box, and it’s because the sushi rice that comes with it is so good. The rice is served separately from the raw fish in two different compartments, one topped with cooked egg and roe and the other with some pickled vegetables. They’re both fantastic and could shine on their own as independent dishes. There are also Western entrees on the menu, reflecting Mifune’s Franco-Japanese point of view, which is great if you’re in the mood for something more hearty and filling, and the juicy and tender roasted duck breast with brown sugar vinegar sauce will do the trick. If you were never jealous of people who worked near the UN or Grand Central, which are both comfortably within walking distance of Mifune, then you might be now.


Mifune
245 E 44th St (between 2nd and 3rd Ave)
New York, NY 10017
(212) 986-2800

 

Ikinari Steak in East Village

getting our steaks made to order at ikinari

Have you ever been to a Fry’s Electronics store? Back when I was in high school, Fry’s was a place for geeks to stock up on computer parts. The typical customer was probably a single dude who liked to play Counterstrike in his spare time and did not have a girlfriend and probably did not care about that. To me, Ikinari Steak in the East Village is like the Fry’s of steakhouses. You’re essentially surrounded by a lot of single dudes who are happily eating their reasonably priced thick-cut steaks while standing (there are no seats at Ikinari, although they recently added a few booths). Some of them might get aggressive and even order two steaks each, like the two men next to us who essentially had a Louis CK-style dinner bang bang and ate four steaks total and did not give a crap about anyone witnessing the gluttony.Read More