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Omakase at Ichimura at Brushstroke

December 31, 2013

One more meal to squeeze in before year end.  Ichimura at Brushstroke has been on my list of sushi restaurants to visit for a while and I was finally able to cross it off before year end.  The small sushi bar is located inside Brushstroke, a joint venture between Daniel Boulud and a Japanese culinary school in Tribeca.   We were ushered into the bar-only sushi spot as soon as we arrived in order make sure that we had time to settle in and review the wine list before the show started.

The intimate and elegant setting accommodated only a few couples that night and the sushi chef Eiji Ichimura was the master of the show, with all of our attention focused on his every move.  He was quiet, swift and efficient in his demeanor and we were all mesmerized by his movements, barely holding any audible conversations on our end.  While we watched, the first of the appetizers, a small tray of one bites arrived.  Included in these delicious bites are miso cod, potato with crab, herring roe, and monkfish liver.

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Next, we were presented with a small bowl of raw squid.  Unlike most that I have had, these were perfectly refreshing with a small bite.

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Then, one of the best sashimi plates I have had, brimming with stripe jack, Spanish mackerel, fluke and fluke fin, giant octopus and tuna.

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Followed by a bowl of delicately smooth chawanmushi topped with Dungeness crab and truffles and finished with ginger, pepper and chives.

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Finally, we were ready to start with the stars of the show, a dizzying array of sushi pieces, placed in front of us one by one by the chef.  Even though he was busy behind the counter, the chef was more than happy to answer any questions and offered up lovely details about the fish.

So we began, one bite at a time: fluke with shiso and kombu dashi

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Isaki or known in English as a threeline grunt

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Winter yellowtail from Hokkaido where they are largest from the month of November to March

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A type of small fish from the South of Japan

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A smooth yet lean Golden eye snapper

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Fatty side of Japanese mackerel

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Shad of the herring family

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Belly of St. Jack

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Creamy uni

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Red snapper with sea salt and yuzu

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A stack of two tuna bellies: otoro chu (mid) and toro

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Ikura

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Sea eel

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Finally, the piece de resistance: triple toro, three fatty otoro pieces layered on top of each other.  So incredibly smooth, delicate and rich.

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At this point, we concluded the official sushi agenda and chef Ichimura stopped by to ask if we would like a little something more from the menu.  We decided to finish with a little bite of something light, a handroll with shiso and salted plums.

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Even though we were already incredibly full at this point, we couldn’t resist ordering the Japanese roasted tea pudding with kuromame beans and buckwheat kernels.  The barely sweet dessert was the perfect end to a light meal full of unusual pieces of fresh seafood.

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Ichimura at Brushstroke | 30 Hudson St, New York, NY 10013 | http://www.davidbouley.com/brushstroke-main/brushstroke-sushi-%E9%AE%A8/

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