5 June 2015
Food & Wine
In the category of dreams that come true: I’ve been the hugest fan of Tim Cushman and his Boston restaurant O Ya since he was an F&W Best New Chef 2008. (That same year, then-New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni picked O Ya as his #1 top new restaurant in the country.) O Ya specializes in genius sushi dishes that range from classic to off-the-wall; from cleanly flavored to rich and indulgent.
I’ve waited a while, but finally, O Ya has arrived in Manhattan. Hurray, New York City! The cozy restaurant, which officially opens tonight, June 5, in the renovated Park South Hotel, feels a bit like the Boston flagship, with similar dark brick walls and a long sushi bar with a bunch of chefs in action behind it.
Here are some cool things they’re preparing for the 18-course ($185) and the 24-course ($245) Okii Ringo (translation: Big Apple) menus that I got to preview. They’re not cheap, but they’re cheaper than the Boston menus, so I’ll say it again: Yay, NYC! 124 E. 28th St.; 212-204-0200; www.oyarestaurantnyc.com
7 Dishes to Look Out for at O Ya NYC
Powdered Foie Gras with Tempura Bits Crispy fried tempura crumbs topped with a mound of frozen foie powder and strips of yuzu zest.
Warm Chive Blossom Tamago Traditional sushi bars serve slices of a large, made-ahead omelet. Cushman makes delicate individual omelets for his version of tamago and serves them warm. Right now, he’s making them with turkey eggs he found at the Union Square farmers’ market; they’re awesome.
Spot Prawns with Ramp Butter and Yuzu Tobiko Ever-so-slightly seared, the prawns are topped with a little ramp and dash puree and a drizzle of ramp butter with bright yuzu beads on top.
Kampachi Sashimi with Vietnamese Mignonette and Fried Shallots In Boston, Cushman usually makes the dish with hamachi because he can’t get kampachi. It’s topped with a pungent fish sauce-spiked dressing and crunchy shallots.
Tuna Tataki with Shaved Truffle and Smoked Onions (right) The little stack of onions on the thick tuna slices are first tossed with a little rice vinegar, so they’re tangy and smoky, with truffle shavings on top. It’s a total umami dish.