Brushstroke, NYC 3

December 30, 2014

On December 11, 2014, I returned to Brushstroke with Blair and Karyn. As there were three of us, we asked to sit around the corner of the counter, which has less of a view of the main kitchen than the center, where we had been before, but provided a close-up view of the sashimi chef at work.

We ordered the Autumn Kaiseki Menu with sake and wine pairings. There are several choices in four of the courses, some at hefty supplements. The three of us did not make the same choices in these, but I only photographed my own meal and am posting just on it. The beverage pairings turned out to be disappointing, as is frequently the case, although two were quite good: the flavorful sake with the sashimi and the Crozes-Hermitage with the wagyu beef. There was too much effort to pour gimmicky or unusual wines and sakes.

The first course was
Autumn Sakizuke Canapés-
(right to left)
Scottish Langoustine & Heirloom Tomato Salad
Smoked Salmon with Tofu Sour Cream
Jamon Iberico & Dashi Gelée, Soba Seed
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Very good with excellent upscale ingredients.

Kabocha & Butternut Squash Soup
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The soup was seasonal and lovely. I enjoyed the glob in the middle, but I never knew what it was. The server always stood between Karyn and Blair to announce the ingredients and I could not hear him.

Today’s Sashimi Selection of 5 Seasonal Varieties
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You can see the sashimi chef preparing our three plates. He had just sliced some fish with his very long knife that he could use in one motion. His various garnishes were in chilled drawers in front of and beside him. There were three white fishes, toro tuna and shrimp. The quality was high. The freshly grated wasabi seemed very hot and had to be used sparingly. There was a little dipping bowl of ponzu and one of a dark soy sauce.

Matsutake & Chanterelles Chawanmushi Truffle Ankake
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This was delicious. The upscale fall mushrooms had a dusky flavor enhanced by the ankake sauce, a daishi broth thickened with kudzu starch and enhanced with ground black truffle. The custard had been slowly steamed and was nicely soft.

Red Drum Fish Yuan-Yaki
Autumn Mushrooms & Vegetables Chips-Fukiyose
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The Atlantic channel bass had been marinated in soy sauce, mirin, sake and yuzu before grilling. It was good and profited from the various garnishes.

Miyazaki Wagyu Charcoal-Grill
Red Wine Reduction Sauce,  Angkor Pepper Paste
Stewed Flat Iron with Orange Miso
Wagyu Tataki Sakura Sushi
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This was sensational. The wagyu beef had a great flavor, enhanced in different ways by the four preparations.  The piece on the lower left had been braised in a red wine reduction to almost falling apart. It was topped with a paste of Cambodian pepper. Above it were three thick tender wedges of charcoal grilled purebred Japanese wagyu, quickly seared and topped with garlic chips, capers and chives.  On the upper right a tasty, grainy shoulder steak had been stewed without overcooking the inside, thinly sliced and garnished with orange miso. Below it is a tender thin slab of seared wagyu over sushi rice and wrapped in nori.

Kona Kanpachi Sashimi Yuzu-Miso over Rice
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A sashimi slice of a special Hawaiian Yellowtail, topped with a yuzu favored miso paste, was over a bowl of fresh rice. With it, as is the custom in a kaiseki meal’s concluding rice dish, were good, crisp pickles and a little cup of miso soup.

Matcha-Green Tea Ice Cream
White Chocolate & Nigori-Sake Affogato
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The ice cream had a strong matcha flavor; it was nicely enhanced by the warm sauce of white chocolate and sweet, unfiltered sake which was poured over after serving.

Delicate rice paper puffs  finished off the meal.
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We had a very good time and enjoyed our meal. For me, only the Chawan Mushi and Wagyu dishes were truly memorable, but all the others were good, with no duds. The meal followed the Japanese Kaiseki formula in its composition, but there were appropriate adaptions for local ingredients and tastes. The pace was fine. The restaurant was almost empty when we arrived at 7:00, but filled up and became quite noisy.
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Brushstroke’s website:

To see our previous meal at Brushstroke click here. 


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