"A feast for the sense" is what I want to say about Brushstroke, David Bouley's latest New York restaurant serving a modern kaiseki menu, but it's much too much of a cliche for a restaurant that elevates traditional Japanese monk food to near-molecular gastronomy levels.
Dishes are innovative, cooks in the spacious open kitchen are as attentive as the waitstaff, and the whole restaurant exudes calm, even late on a Friday night.
I worked my way through a leisurely two-and-half hour dinner with the Brushstroke seven-course tasting menu ($85, with meat and fish or vegetarian), the only other option being a longer $135 tasting menu. If there is an a la carte menu, as I heard there might be, I never saw it. Nor did I need to. At Brushstroke, you do want to leave your tastebuds in the restaurant's fine hands.
Hawaiian hearts of palm and broccoli rabe with yuzu mustard miso
Steamed chawan-mushi egg custard, black truffle sauce and uni
Today's sushi (tao fish; shown at top)
Option: Grilled anago and malanga yam dumpling with anake sauce
Miso marinated black cod with chrysanthemum leaf puree (shown middle)
*Boyfriend and I went one for one here, I preferring my anago and he dedicated to his cod from the first bite
Steamed duck breast with yuzu mustard dressing, flash-fried nasu eggplant (shown lower)
King crab and salmon roe over steamed sushi rice (chirashi style) with a winter vegetable stew soup
Dessert option: I settled on a tiny pot of sweet red bean pudding that was served with a gaping bowl of hot matcha; Boyfriend opted for the fresh fruits in sake gelee, which consisted of a martini glass holding a variety of segmented citrus, pomegranate seeds, and a few other fruits nestled into a clear gelatine lightly flavored with sake.
30 Hudson Street (at Duane Street)
Monday through Saturday, dinner only