HARLEM + BESPOKE
Harlem's newest sushi spot will have its grand opening for dinner service on Friday but HB was able to have a preview tonight. Tips were coming in at the end of January that Yuzu would open at 350 Lenox which was an empty commercial space by 127th Street. Things have moved along quickly in the following months and the 46-seat eatery helmed by chef Tomoyuki Hayashi formerly of Sushi Azabu in Tribeca and of Matsuri in Chelsea (during the first couple of years when the quality was exceptional) treated guests tonight to a taste of the menu.
One of the first points to note about Yuzu is that the concept really centers around exceptional quality but in an approachable, casual dining environment. The interior is brand new but really pretty straightforward without any fussy flourishes. Sushi at Yuzu will focus on traditional nigiri, sashimi as well as the expected rolls but at a higher level than most other restaurants. Some of the standouts we had this evening included a seared scallop nigiri that was light and fresh along with a large, raw botan shrimp which is usually not found on a standard menu. Also the presentation for offerings such as the marinated sashimi salad with sweet miso or the hirame carpaccio with sesame oil and sprouts were outstanding along with being solid dishes.
We have to try a bit more of the menu to get a better sense of the Yuzu but right now everything seems pretty promising. The staff behind the bar is also already up to speed since they have all worked together in the past and this is one of the more authentic Japanese eateries we have ever experienced uptown. Lunch service will start on Monday of next week and there is a beer and wine license in place.