Dining out is always delightful and last Friday it was also DELICIOUS! What a fantastic evening we had. To begin with we were the guests of our friends, Sandy and Rosemarie. They have been regular customers at O YA in Boston, a restaurant that has garnered high praise for its excellence and accolades for the chef, Tim Cushman, who won the James Beard Best Chef in the Northeast award in 2012. Frank Bruni named O YA the #1 new restaurant in the United States in 2008 and that was just the beginning. I could go on and on with a very long list of prestigious honors, but trust me it is long. However, I want to mention that O YA in Boston earned the Top Food rating of 29 in Zagat Boston in 2011/2012 and Boston Magazine designated O YA as the #1 restaurant in Boston.
Friday was one of the three nights of the soft opening and sneak peek of O YA New York. We were treated like royalty (it helps to be the guests of VIP customers). The tastings just kept coming and coming along with a bottomless glass of the finest Sake I’ve ever had! Nancy Cushman, wife of Tim and co-owner of the restaurant personally served us the exquisite Nanbu Bijin “Shinpaku” Saké, Junmai Daiginjo, a dry and not so sweet Japanese delight. I took this very accurate description of this Sake from Southern Beauty, the Nanbu Bijin Sake Brewery: ” Made from 100% Yamadanishiki sake rice from Hyogo prefecture. Yamadanishiki is a very popular sake rice used in the production of especially aromatic Daiginjo sakes. This sake has beautiful aromas of fresh peach or strawberry with very mild rice aromas like soft marshmallows. Most of Yamadanishiki Daiginjo sake is pricey, but Nanbu Bijin Shinpaku is very reasonable. You can enjoy as an aperitif or also with main courses.”
One delicious delicacy after another was brought to the table, each one artfully presented as only the Japanese can do, and this team of sushi chefs does it exquisitely. At one point I walked over to the Sushi Bar to observe the magic – I was referring to their expertise.
As in most cases, a picture is worth a thousand words…. I tried valiantly to scribble down the erudite description of each dish brought to us, as our extremely efficient and knowledgeable server described each menu item. It proved more difficult than I thought; It was noisy in the restaurant and the ever-flowing sake may have impaired my hearing just a bit.
The crowning finish to our meal was a mosaic dessert which I believe to be a lemon-aloe granita with julienne dragon fruit, kiwi slice and small bits of Hakuto jelly (maybe!). It was true culinary art!
Thank you, thank you, thank you Sandy and Rosemarie for this wonderful dining experience! We are so sorry we had to dash off to catch a train. Truly felt awful leaving you at the curb 😦