EAT: Zenkichi

77 N 6th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11211
Phone: (718) 388-8985
Wed-Sat: 6pm – Midnight
Sun: 5:30pm – 11:30pm
CLOSED on Monday & Tuesday

Zenkichi touts itself as a Modern Japanese Brasserie but I’m going to lay it out as one of the most romantic restaurants I’ve ever encountered in NYC. “It feels like camping,” whispered my date Sara, who also happens to be a good friend, as we peered down the low-lit, stone-paved path that leads from one private bamboo nest to the next.

Indeed it felt like the woods at night. “Yes. We should probably make out now,” I responded.

Just then Leo, the most adorable Japanese waiter you’re ever going to find (I mean he’s young and attractive) popped his head through the light curtain to our wood-carved booth and supplied us with some mood-solidifying Dassai Nigori sake (unfiltered Junma: Ginjo).

It was one of the hundred days of rain and it pattered on the glass roof, which I assume must make for the most stunning, sunlit eve dining. Despite the rain, the warm tea lights, closed-in booths, and whispers of conversation trailing from down the stony path make one pleasantly transformative dining experience. You will completely forget the outside world and this is the most shining quality of Zenkichi.

You have the option of ordering the tasting menu, which is eight, chef-recommended, seasonal courses including dessert, or you can order a la carte, which is the path we chose.

Our menu for the evening consisted of the following plates (all small, but large enough for sharing tastes):

Maguro Carpaccio -$13.95
A medium tuna served with a out-of-this-world green yuzu pepper sauce and incidentally, the best tuna sashimi I’ve had– ever.

Camembert & Shrimp Corn Tempura – $8.95
A mild but interesting combination of flavors, best for the less adventurous.

Winter Small Pot -$10.95
A delicious miso broth with Shrimp and Scallops (Two of each for easy sharing) and seasonal vegetables.

Grilled Saikyo Black Cod -$16.50
I had requested the best fish on the menu and Leo said this was the most popular. It was pretty good, but the sweet miso glaze masked the flavor of the fish.

Grilled Saikyo Black Cod… half eaten.

Roasted Honey-Soy Duck -$15.95
Though I typically don’t go for sweet, I’m a sucker for anything Duck and these were the most tender yet lean slices of duck you’ll ever have.

And we finished off with sake cups full of Frozen Black Sesame Mousse—at which point we were starting to feel ashamed over the night’s indulgences. Thankfully, we were headed to SoHo to work it- work it hard.

Zenkichi really is what everyone says it is, so believe the hype. They serve-up really innovative Japanese fare that’s delicious, offered in a venue that seems beyond time and space. So go get warped.

Rochelle Fainstein

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