The opening of Teshigotoya has been announced for a while and my Japanese friends in NYC were very much exited about it. I finally had an opportunity to dine there on a weekday night. Teshigotoya means “hand-made place” and the restaurant is literally preparing their food in that fashion in an open kitchen visible from every table. According to Chopsticks NY magazine, Keita Rosenfield, the chef of this amazing cozy place, is big on seasonal ingredients. When I visited with a long time Japanese friend, there was a long list of autumn menu choices showcasing harvest delicacies. Even though we were tempted to try some of these options, we decided to choose from the regular menu dishes as there were an equal number of items we wanted to try.
We started with ‘Potato Salad Cake’, which upon arrival seemed more like a beautiful dessert than a dish of potatoes and vegetables mixed in. It had several red layers that I believe were thinly sliced beets with authentic Japanese potato salad in between. The taste confirmed that it was homemade and seemingly from the freshest ingredients. Next was corn tempura. This is only the second time I have found this dish in the US. Teshigotoya’s version is definitely a handcrafted appetizer because the corn kernels were still intact, deep fried, and served in small rectangular bites. I could taste the sweetness of the corn even after the frying, and it was beautifully served against a squared section of the cob. We were about to order another “Okawari” which is refill.
For the main entree, it was a tough decision as there were many attractive items on the menu – both meat and seafood. Since both of us had eaten sushi the day before, we opted for a couple of meat dishes to share. I order a grilled pork steak with a demi glace sauce. The pork was tender and perfectly grilled with the sauce being nice and thick. The price was only $15 and I was very surprised given the size and quality. The second dish was garlic-fried rice with a ribeye steak. According to the menu, the dish was categorized as “shime” or “last dish”. In Japanese dining culture, rice and noodle are often served in the last course. I was expecting something like traditional fried rice with small cubes of steak tossed in. Instead, however, it was more like a regular ribeye steak (with very little fat and had the texture/tenderness of filet mignon) served over a generous portion of fried rice. My friend and I really liked this choice, and both of us agreed to come back here sometime soon again – just to order this dish again.
There were also several varieties of Sake, Shochu and Japanese beers available to pair with delicious dishes. The very knowledgeable staff will guide you which beverage suites best to your choice of tapas.
Price: $120 including tip and several beverages for the two of us
Neighborhood: East Village
Dress code: Smart casual
Nice for date, small group, relatively quiet