A rigorously seasonal philosophy is the heart of kaiseki-style dining.
As a result, the stunning starter to a recent meal at Brushstroke--pickled cherry-blossom soup served aside a flower-filled branch--has disappeared with the early spring.
So it goes with the ever-changing litany of seasonal delicacies, prepared with a reverent and authentic touch, at David Bouley's new Tribeca restaurant. The collaboration with Yoshiki Tsuji of Osaka's Tsuji Culinary Institute is producing some of the city's most elegant Japanese cuisine right now.
After the amuse bite, a delicate vegetable composition launches the eight-course menu ($85) which, true to the kaiseki playbook, includes soup, sashimi, grilled seafood, meat and rice. Sit at the bar for the best view of the tie-wearing chefs as they sliver geoduck and fluke and grill black cod over Japanese charcoal.
Three of the rice-course options require an additional fee, and while the donabe of Dungeness crab and salmon roe ($18 supplement) is an indulgent mix of earth and sea, we were equally taken--if not more so--with vegetable and lobster tempura over dashi-scented rice.
The final course featured soy milk at its finest, in a rich, faintly nutty panna cotta topped with verdant, bitter matcha tea.
The tasting menu is transporting, but if it's too wallet-taxing, sit at the bar and sample some of the menu's highlights à la carte, instead.
Brushstroke, 30 Hudson St. (at Duane St.); 212-791-3771 or davidbouley.com
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