Thursday, December 27, 2007

Blue Ribbon Sushi Uptown: Its OK

The lovely wife and I love Blue Ribbon Sushi Downtown on Sullivan Street, but getting downtown is not always that easy and they don't take reservations. So we were excited to learn that recently the Bromerg Brothers/Blue Ribbon Group opened a new restaurant on West 58th Street, The Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar and Grill. From our house, a simple trip on the 1 train would allow us quick passage to a great meal.

So we went. The new restaurant is located in the 6 Columbus Hotel, which you can see from their website is another knock off of the W Hotels. When you go, look for the hotel, because the restaurant is poorly marked. There are still no reservations at this Blue Ribbon, so after checking in and checking our coats, we headed to the bar, which is quite pleasant. We were able to sit at the sushi bar immediately or at a table in "15 minutes" and chose to go with the bird in the hand rather than the two in the bush.

The space is large, cool and brown. You can actually maneuver around the tables if you need to go to the bathroom. There are several interesting nooks and crannies to sit in. The sushi bar is large, and there were at least 6 sushi chefs working there when we ate. Although the menu remains extensive, and also includes more cooked items than Downtown, we chose to go with the Omakase, just to see what we would get.

While it is hard to judge a restaurant on one meal, the lovely wife and I were not overly pleased with what we got. The chefs selection, while artfully displayed (the sushi is pictured, I couldn't get a picture of the sashimi but it was way fancier), was not an overly impressive mix of fish (too much sashimi that tasted like mackerel and not enough anything else), and, while it may be my imagination, even some things that I always liked Downtown, such as the miso butter, just weren't as good here. The fish was fine, and I didn't feel ripped off in any way, but it wasn't anything memorable either.

I will try Blue Ribbon Uptown again: their pedigree is just too good and the restaurant was less than a month old when we went. But I will order judiciously and see if they can recreate the food they consistently produce downtown.

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