New York City- 8/17/11 -8/20/11

Day 1-Wednesday Day 2- Thursday Day 3 - Friday Day 4- Saturday

Morimoto, New York

Morimoto, New York is a cutting-edge restaurant serving contemporary Japanese cuisine, located at 88 10th Avenue (between 15th and 16th Street) in the Meatpacking District, Chelsea.  Masaharu Morimoto is a well known Japanese Iron Chef from the show "Iron chef America" that you can watch on the Food network channel.  He is also known for his unique style of artfully presenting his food and for preparing Japanese traditional dishes with a modern flair.  He was trained originally as a sushi chef and is a master of the sophisticated Japanese dining genre called "kaiseki" which is a traditional fancy multi-course Japanese dinner.

  Morimoto New York restaurant is designed by the creative Japanese architect Tadao Ando who won the Pritzker Architecture Prize, considered the highest distinction in the field of architecture.  The restaurant is a bi-level separated into a 160-person seated dining area on the 1st floor and a 40 person lounge in the lower level.

The restaurant is fully booked a month ahead so if you want to dine at Morimoto you will need to plan ahead. Even though I called a month ahead, I only had two choices: 6:30PM or 9:30PM so we went with the 6:30PM reservation.

I ate at Morimoto in Napa Valley but my friends told me that the New York location is different and to give it a try.  So here we are at Morimoto, New York.

The curved, low-slung entrance is hung with a giant red curtain, making it look like the mouth of a whale.  If you do not pay attention you would not know this is a restaurant. 

We are checking out Del Posto restaurant across the street, which belongs to Iron Chef Mario Batali.

 

The entrance is a bit weird with giant red curtain but it was supposed to look like you are entering the mouth of a whale...

 

Uncle Larry and I checking in with our host.

Here we are standing in front of a wall made of 17,000 spring water bottles. 

Guests have the option to dine on the top floor or congregate in the lower lounge for cocktails and snacks.  Our table was on the 1st floor, on the right just behind the wall of water bottles.

 

 

On the first floor, situated at the far end is an extraordinary open kitchen surrounded by a 24-seat sushi bar where diners can watch Morimoto (when he is around and I was told he is here quite often) and his chefs at work.

Different view of the sushi bar.

There is a large sushi menu and the fish is flown in four times weekly from the Tsukiji market in Tokyo and the fish is always fresh and top notch.

Sushi chefs at work behind the counter.

The far end of the sushi bar.

 The restaurant is made up of clean, straight lines that are perfectly balanced by the white walls and the ceiling is draped with lovely soft waves.  The chairs and tables are boxy and white, and seating areas are divided by large, artistic glass barriers. 

We were seated at a long communal tables that can sit a party of 14.  Basically there are no spaces in between so there are no privacy but fortunately during our meal the  table next to us remained empty.

 

Next to our communal table, there are smaller tables for 4 to 6 guests that are set up on a raised floor.

Very simple plate setting with translucent chopsticks.

View from our table looking toward the left (the other side of the communal table). Notice the ceiling!

Tadao Ando’s design for Morimoto is a white fiberglass-canvas ceiling draped throughout the dining room.

The atmosphere of Morimoto is both hip and tranquil. The look of the restaurant is contemporary, gray, and streamlined.

Marion, our waiter wanted to pose for the camera!  Kevin is looking at him a bit amused!

 

Uncle Larry chatting with Marion...

Auntie Kim and Kevin...

 

Morimoto Martini

Junmai Morimoto sake and rain vodka garnished with Japanese cucumber slices.

Excellent cocktail but it is so potent!

Kabuki

Stolichnaya Ohranj Vodka, triple sec, a splash of sour and orange juice garnished with an orange wedge

 

 

Morimoto's Menu

Morimoto Omakase (Chef's choice) and raw bar menu

The complete menu

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