I've been on a serious Japanese streak here and I'm not even trying. Just got to NY for a short trip and got here a day early so did a quick search for a restaurant near by. I'm staying at the Royalton, great hotel btw, and did a search on my zagat app. I actually had to scroll past a page and saw that Aburiya Kinnosuke was one of the only one's w out a icon and since it had a respectable food score I looked into it. It was 6 blocks away and I love walking in NY so off I went.
First of all unless you are looking specifically for this place you will NEVER find it. Sign is actually parallel to the street and can only be seen from the sidewalk or if you pass it and look back, not to mention it has a very small dark long entry way which is beautifully lined with dimly lit glass encased saki displays. From the time you enter the hallway you are seriously in Japan! They do serve sashimi but they specialize in robata (grilled skewers). Everything is authentic as you can get. My favorite was the 3 fish skewer plate which is actually served on a sizzling hot rock. I didn't have a bad dish and their saki menu is legendary. I have never seen such an extensive and rare saki menu. One of the features I liked is you can order any of them by the glass if you like. Most places only offer the premium sakis by the bottle. Even better is how your "glass" is served. The waitress places a small glass in the center of a small open wooden box cup or "masu" . Then she pours the saki until it fills the glass and runs over and fills the wooden masu as well. The first visit I was by myself and the waitress, even though she spoke broken english, really took an interest to find the saki I liked the best. At one point she brought over 5 bottles (very expensive) and gave me complimentary tastings off all of them!
I was so impressed with this place I bought back a party of 6 the next evening and we had our own private room which was fantastic as well. There was even a rep from one of the saki makers there that night who came into our room and gave several saki samples as well. We closed the place down that night and must have sent through 6 bottles of saki. Everyone was impressed with this place. How can one not be. I true diamond.
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