restaurants
Riingo
205 East 45th Street
212 867 4200

Riingo, Marcus Samuelsson's (Aquavit) new spot takes his expertise with fish to a new level. He and Hakan Swahn's space is a variation on the usual high head sushi experience but sometimes a hit or miss depending highly on the dish. Starter specials - the night we were there we had a fantastic hamachi in tom yum sauce - tend towards unbelievably good. Seared toro melts. Even the garnish is creative. Standard sushi and sashimi entree platters are sure bets also, with the fish consistently fresh and well textured. Then it gets a bit weird. Some of the fusion dishes, don't quite, well fuse. It's snapper instead of sea bass with a miso sauce and foie gras in the sushi rolls instead of just the usual yellowtails. It doesn't work. The tastes clash and you almost wish you could separate the fish from its sauce and from the veggies. The one unusual roll that is a must however is like none other we've had - a squash soba noodle roll, a bevy of tastes, one coming on the tail of the other, is salty, tangy, crunchy and smooth. Order two so you don't have to fight over who gets the last piece. The highlight of dessert is the green tea doughnuts which come with a cinnamon dipping sauce and are an absolute delight. Warm and lightly fried with a green tea concoction, the sugar is just right and the three pieces just enough.

$$$

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