Yesterday we returned to NYC. I love the visual when driving back in to NYC as you come over the LIE down to the midtown tunnel and the skyline starts to appear. Fred blasted Peter Gabriel singing "Back In New York City". It was great. This crew was beyond happy to be back in our town.
We celebrated with a fantastic meal at Jewel Bako. I have been there many times over the past 6 years but last night was the best. It is masterful how Jack Lamb has slowly accumulated all three store fronts and created a group of restaurants. Two of them are Jewel Bako and the other one is DeGustation. He can access all of them from the front hallway and I assume from the back area. Very smart.
The architecture at Jewel Bako has always been a favorite of mine. It looks just as smart today as it did 6 years ago. The banquettes line the small rectangular room with tables in front and the sushi bar is in back in a small square room. The ceiling has been made rounded with bent wooden slats, like the underside of a sail boat. Grays and woods create a soothing peaceful surroundings. A gem.
We had a variety of tastes last night. We began with the edamame because we were starving. It was sweet and salty, just how I like it. We also each had a miso soup which was rich and delicious. We should have ordered more of the mushrooms. Mushrooms roasted in paper with Asian flavors. Simple and tasty. Tuna tartare, hamachi and hiramasa are served on a plate chopped into small round servings with yam chips. This is a house specialty and worth ordering.
We also split a few rolls. Creative. Raw scallops rolled up with avocado, scallions and a chive oil. We also had the Japanese Snow Crab with avocado and miso. Both were delicious and filling. I particularly liked the snow crab that had been chopped up in the roll.
Then we went with the sushi. Josh went with the omakse that has 10 pieces of sushi that the chef picks. He was delighted. Each of us went a la carte. They have quite a menu of fishes that come from different parts of the world. Each piece was tasty, rich and buttery. The Uni was so good that Fred and I ordered a second piece.
At this point, I went to the rest room and ended up speaking with Jack Lamb. Everything was so good that I made reservations to go to Jack's Oyster Bar on Friday night. One of the places of his that I have been meaning to get to. He was thrilled and came out and had the staff give us 5 desserts on the house. Green tea cream filling piped into tiny round puffed pastries (like eclairs) and a dense chocolate mouse probably tofu based with whipped cream. Nice ending.
We all loved it and vowed to be back again.