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Posted by Michael on 12/13/2013
Review of Mihoko’s 21 Grams 12/13/13 There’s a sign on the wall of the restaurant referencing Dr. Duncan MacDougall’s claim that the human soul weighs 21 grams. I think a more appropriate reference would be to the weight of 120$ (or 160 for the ‘omakase’!) leaving your wallet as you dine here. There are other restaurants that bear the name of the proprietor and I’ll agree that sometimes the food is underwhelming but when you have an array of elements that point to self-indulgence you have to wonder how much of it is planned and how much of it is just a natural extension of the person. Perhaps it’s not fair to indict Mihoko personally so let me share what I experienced firsthand. Food was extremely high concept and equally low delivery-the duck breast-while cooked medium rare lacked the necessary rendering of the fat layer leaving it to appear boiled, the Wagyu beef-no more than 3 slices?! The rabbit-cooked within an inch of its life and apparently well before we arrived-stringy and dry all of it. The shrimp and uni first course maki roll had rice that was gummy and poorly seasoned. My mille feuille “King Crab” was almost definitely Surimi or some other crab substitute. Soufflé was serviceable as were most of the other high concept desserts but nothing more than serviceable. The space is truly deranged, reminding me of the Merovingian’s design ethic from the “matrix” films-it aspires to represent some kind of blend of Marie Antoinette French and Philippe Starck vibe which could be cool but when you add the overpowering incense (INCENSE!?) odor , wobbly tables and just plain strange privacy screens around the tables-it’s not a big mystery why this place was largely empty at primetime on a Thursday night. The service staff was all polite and friendly, there wasn’t an attitude issue. There was a quality issue-drinks were not cleared, drinks ordered did not arrive and the crumb service at the table was performed on two of our five seats. I left the table and returned to find my napkin where I left it-on the seat of my chair-while you might read that and consider me some kind of prima donna-I challenge you to go to a restaurant with this level of purported cuisine, service and frankly price and find your napkin where you left it if you leave the table. Its simply indicative of a place that aspires to be far more than it can and is fleecing the few that make the mistake of choosing to dine there.
Posted by vickytee23 on 08/04/2013
I would recommend this restaurant to anyone interested in a unique fine dining experience. We went for a special dinner for 2 and it was a remarkable night. The service was unparalleled: the waiters were extremely gracious and polite in addition to being extremely knowledgeable about the dishes. The food itself was spectacular. We love both Asian and European food and this was an incredibly successful combination of the two seemingly disparate cuisines. The dishes were all delicious; from the fois gras to the sashimi to the duck, you truly can't go wrong. Seriously a hidden gem.
Posted by Diane on 06/23/2012
I think the other reviewers and I went to different restaurants! I was there on a recent Wednesday night with a friend and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. First of all, the place is exceptionally beautiful from the entryway to the downstairs lounge to the bathroom. That alone may have sufficed except that I'm a sucker for great service. I was not disappointed there either. Service was as it should be--competent, attentive but not too attentive, friendly, and indulgent. And the food was truly innovative and--for the most part--delicious (exceptions were the goat cheese and walnut sushi and the squash accompanying the lamb). I'm not a huge fan of bold Japanese flavors and was pleased with the light hand taken with the yuzu, etc. Standouts were the Hommage cocktail, bok choy nigiri, heirloom tomato salad, and the lamb . I can't wait to go back and try more items!
Posted by lickin' the chops on 06/03/2012
We went to 21 grams last night, and I must say, it is truly a shame. The space is amazing, as beautiful as any new restaurant in NY. The service, was friendly and in unison as a luxury restaurant should be. Unfortunately. there were only 2 tables with people dining, which means, on a Saturday night, summer or not, they are in a lot of trouble. We ordered the Omakase, there was a misunderstanding, so instead we received the chef's tasting sushi plates. No fish! The meal included 2 plates, one was all vegetables, the second was Wagyu beef- how can a Japanese place have no fish on their chef's tasting? The food was good, the staff was terrific, the space was beautiful, but we left hungry, not a good sign. Next time, we'll stop by for a drink in the beautiful downstairs bar. We cancelled reservations at Bouley to come here, we expected it to be pricey, we just expected to avoid needing pizza when we were done.