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Tuna at 15 East

A formidable flight of fancy fish

There are flights of wine. Flights of cheese. Even flights of chocolate on some menus.  The latest flight of food fancy can be found at 15 East, Marco Moreira and Jo-Ann Makovitzky’s Michelin-starred Japanese eatery, just off Union Square (they also helm Tocqueville).

15 East tuna

The tuna at 15 East (Photo: Daniel Krieger)

Chef Masato Shimizu’s tuna flight ($75) features two pieces each of five different cuts, offering an education in the nuances of everyone’s favorite sushi fish. Eating it should be as methodical as Masato-san’s skilled slicing, starting with Akami, a cut of lean tuna, and the firmest of the bunch texturally; zuke, soy-marinated tuna, follows, the salty essence bringing out shadows of salinity within the fish; chu-toro, medium-fatty tuna, moves into the softer cuts; the prized, meltingly fatty belly, otoro, follows; and katsuo, aka bonito, the meaty, most flavorful of the bunch, provides a grand finish.

Though the sushi is divine, the hand-cut soba noodles should not be missed either, prepared cold or hot, with various ingredients. But the best way to enjoy the six-year-old restaurant is to put yourself in the ever-so-capable hands of chef Shimizu and his omakase menu, when each dish is presented as if it were a wonderful, fishy gift.

15 East
15 East 15th St.

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