UPPER EAST SIDE, Manhattan (PIX11) — NR on the Upper East Side was born of the cocktail culture and then layers in traditional Japanese food with a twist.
Hand-cut ice was used to chill cocktails, and glasses were painted a delicious chocolate swirl. From ice to fire, a palo santo aroma was added to a gorgeous smokey mezcal cocktail by Tetsuo Hasegawa, the restaurant’s mixologist.
“Good performance and presentation,” Hasegawa said, explaining what patrons expect during their dining experience. “People come in, drink, have a good time, go out happy!”
As Hasegawa crafted cocktails, Chef Takashi meticulously sculpted every morsel of the dishes he prepared — precision that is important to the dining experience, according to owner Shige Kabashima.
Elegant soupless ramen kicked off the meal. There were homemade Japanese dashi with sea urchin paste and an artistic plate of scallops carpaccio with a hint of lemon and a whiff of truffle. Eggs took central stage in the Japanese brunch with a perfectly sculpted egg salad sandwich on thick toasted white bread.
For Southern picnic lovers, there were deviled eggs elevated with sea urchin and caviar. A stuffed and topped eggplant was served with sweet miso, as well.
Kabashima started as a bartender, in love with a bygone time when Japan opened its port towns to the world. At that time, the cocktail culture came from Europe, while the ramen culture came from China.
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