BY Lisa Lindblad
June 5, 2016
There are so many delicious Japanese restaurants in New York..we are indeed fortunate. Yesterday, however, I discovered one more on East 15th Street, aptly named 15 East Restaurant. It was one of those serendipitous evenings. Jeremy, Katie and I found ourselves on 14th Street West with a looming sky and hungry tummies. And Jeremy, ever the foodie, steered us, sans reservation, to this Michelin starred sushi eatery. The restaurant, a two-roomed affair with the sushi bar in one and nicely spaced tables in the second, looked not only alive but full. And yet, there was the perfect three top, the only empty table in the restaurant, and we were in luck.
Oh my..what a delicious dinner we had! We started with an array of sushi beautifully plated on a long, white ceramic dish with a clump of fresh ginger and their own wasabi that comes from the Izu Peninsula. As well, I had my all time favorites — uni, brought from California and Japan, and botanebi, the tiny spotted sweet shrimp. And then we shared a delicious Arctic Char with poached root vegetables fresh from Union Square Greenmarket, a perfect coda to the dinner.
Relaxed, pretty, easy and, quite simply, delicious
It amazes me that, loving sushi as I do, I continually find delicious Japanese restaurants that I have never heard of! Last night I had an indulgent dinner with my son and daughter-in-law, served at Neta's sushi bar by Jay, a gentle Tibetan sushi chef with his own private stash of special fish.
The menu is large and unusual - uni porridge is just one such dish - but we, having just spent two weeks in Italy gorging on pasta, cured meats and cheese, were longing for nigiri. Here were some of the outstanding bites: Spot prawn, Mediterranean sea bream, sweet shrimp, delicious yellowtail and, of course, uni, from the West Coast, Chile or Japan. Not only were the pieces prepared in those desirous small bites, but some were topped with finely grated lime rind, shiso leaf or crispy nori. Delicious.
To be noted, the executive chef of Neta is Korean, Chef Sungchul Shim. Chef Shim brings a unique combination of Western and Eastern culinary craft and philosophy to Neta, honed from years of formal study and practical training in fine dining in Asia and the United States.He began his career as a chef in the U.S. with an externship at the three Michelin star Le Bernardin and then continued to expand his knowledge working in many of New York’s finest kitchens, including Aureole, and Bouley among others. In less than three years, Chef Shim’s impressive skills and creativity secured him a position in the kitchen of the three Michelin star Per Se.