restaurants
Zutto
77 Hudson Street
212 233 3287

The reinvention of Zutto by Joshua Smookler into what he calls a Japanese American pub means that this spot has something for every eater. While that seems to confuse the locals who have considered this just a neighbourhood sushi joint for years, we think it's wonderful. There's still a wide variety of sushi; fatty Amberjack, quail egg, sea urchin, scallop, and such fun rolls including their Animal Roll (short rib) and Gulf of Mexico Roll (which uses shrimp tempura, roe and spicy mayo). But now if you're after a Hakata classic, Shoyu, or spicy Miso ramen, and your dinner companion wants steak, you can come here and your pal can have their Kobe ribeye steak frites. Or if you want steamed Hirata buns (pork belly, Kobe beef, tuna, or Portobello mushroom etc), you can have that, and your friend can indulge in miso cod. Thinking beyond the traditional idea of Japanese is what Bouley and Per Se alum Smookler is doing, which is also reflected in the set up of the restaurant. Good for duos, good for groups, it's how you like it. That philosophy also extends into his beer, wine, and sake list. Choose from such choices as a spiced Schneider Weisse, or a CVNE Imperial 1999 Tempranillo, or where the original restaurant offered few selections, you can now choose from over 60 sakes such as the unfiltered Hakushika Snow Beauty junmai. We're hoping this one sticks around.

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