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Eating Out: Morimoto NYC

With RC Hell Week upon us, New York City might be a popular destination this week. So, I thought I should alert everyone to a hot, new NYC restaurant to help ease some of the interviewing pain. If you’re headed to the Big Apple, it’s a relatively painless commute from Boston-approximately four hours on a weekend when you’re just looking to get away.

Morimoto NYC is one of the most high-profile restaurant openings in Manhattan this year. Clearly, one of its biggest draws is the celebrity chef whose name adorns the restaurant: Masaharu Morimoto from The Food Network’s “Iron Chef” series. However, early press says its ultra-stylish design and vibe will more than complement its impeccable Japanese-fusion food.
Located in NYC’s trendy meatpacking district, it has been reported that the restaurant cost a whopping $12 million dollars to build. This gets you a 12,000 square-foot space with 160 dining room seats on the ground floor, 24 seats at the sushi bar, eight seats at a special omakase table for those who want to splurge on a $120 plus chef’s choice tasting menu and a 1,500 square-foot open exhibition kitchen. There will also be a sleek downstairs lounge where you can hang out and look your best among the hip and beautiful in NYC.

Other design areas are sure to turn heads. For starters, the world’s largest noren, a traditional Japanese split door curtain, has an entrance that looks like a dramatic archway within a steel fa‡ade, from which hangs a bright red curtain almost a full story high. Inside the restaurant, a quirky touch involves nearly 20,000 Ty Nant water bottles acting as walls, hung horizontally and lit from within. However, more conventional Asian design elements such as feng shui were also used. Look up and maybe you’ll see the dozens of Buddha statues that were put into the ceiling to ward off any evil spirits.

Food-wise, many favorites from Morimoto’s Philadelphia restaurant appear to be making a repeat appearance. I can personally attest to the yumminess of the crispy rock-shrimp tempura and black-cod miso, both of which I sampled at the Philly location.

Gourmet magazine recently held its 65th Anniversary party at Morimoto NYC, in advance of the restaurant’s official opening to the public on January 31. Some of the newer dishes served there and expected to be on the regular menu include Japanese lobster fritters and toro tartare “five layers” with caviar.

If the high levels of anticipation and pre-opening buzz are any indication, checking out Morimoto NYC while you’re in town should be a night well spent.

Details:
88 Tenth Avenue (at 16th Street in the meatpacking district)New York, New York
212-989-8883

February 6, 2006
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