Restaurants »1 or 8

66 S 2nd St, Williamsburg, Brooklyn

With Bozu and Zenkichi, I am happy to say that we have some of the very best Japanese restaurants in the city in our area. Well, now you can add 1 or 8 to the list. Each have their purposes and 1 or 8 fits in as a bright, modern spot that’s prefect for a date night.

You enter into a kind of impersonal, quiet bar area that belies the bubbly, inviting, brightly lit dining area around the corner.

Since we only go out for a date night every month of so, we decided to live it up a little and started with an oyster sampler special. My goodness do oysters go well with ponzu! The small, plump and briny ones from Washington State were outstanding.

Next we ordered the Omakase Sushi, a chef selection of the best they have to offer. The fatty tuna and yellowtail belly were buttery. The salmon tasted smoked but was naturally so. The tuna was marinated Tokyo style and was Jim’s very favorite. The catfish from Montauk, while on the chewy side offered the most amazing and surprising spicy after taste.

Next on the plate were my two favorites: a house mackerel chopped with spices and scallions and a bold sardine that glistened beautifully on the plate. The following shrimp – served raw with a creamy texture and a subtly sweetened eel rounded out an incredible sushi experience.

They offer cocktails, wine and beer but I couldn’t have such a meal without some great sake, which they offer quite an assortment of. Many are offered by the bottle, but a nice list is also offered by sample size, glass, and carafe. The sample size is great for finding the one that suits your taste the most. We were fond of the unfiltered Kamoizumi but I wasn’t totally in love with the Chikurin. To finish the meal off, we tried the White Sesame Tart with black sesame ice cream, a none too sweet dessert that grows on you with each bite.

The staff is very friendly and informative, seeming just as excited about serving the food as we were about eating it. Plus, while we spent more than we might usually this time, the menu is varied and you could easily go a la carte and spend more or less depending on your mood and budget and still walk away with a special dining experience.

Now just over a year old (though I’ve been so out of the loop, I only just read about it) it seems to have quite a following. The place was packed Friday night, so I recommend reservations which can be made easily on Opentable. If you’re a sushi lover and had your fill of the mediocre stuff you can find on any street in the country, you’ll want to make a date night out of it soon.

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Posted on February 19, 2011

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