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The High-Rolling Stoner Sushi Award: Chez Sardine

RECOMMENDED: Food & Drink Awards 2013 Prolific restaurateur Gabriel Stulman must have been smoking something when he decided to move forward...

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Photograph: Loren Wohl

Sushi at Chez Sardine

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Photograph: Loren Wohl

Pork-unagi hand roll at Chez Sardine

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Photograph: Loren Wohl

Breakfast pancakes at Chez Sardine

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Photograph: Loren Wohl

Miso-glazed salmon at Chez Sardine

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Photograph: Dominic Perri

Foie gras grilled cheese at Chez Sardine

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Photograph: Loren Wohl

Chez Sardine

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Photograph: Loren Wohl

Chez Sardine

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Photograph: Loren Wohl

Chez Sardine

RECOMMENDED: Food & Drink Awards 2013

Prolific restaurateur Gabriel Stulman must have been smoking something when he decided to move forward with his fifth Village venture, a cross-cultural izakaya named like a joke and serving raw-fish nigiri topped with chiccharón nuggets and potato-chip crumbs. Whatever his state was, we’re awfully glad he stuck to his guns. The slim restaurant’s sardine-can-size kitchen, run by Fedora’s creatively hard-charging Mehdi Brunet-Benkritly, sends out wild riffs on sushi, like pork-belly or chopped-beef-with-uni. The inspiration and compact dimensions are steeped in Japan. The execution, though, is pure Quebecois gluttony (the chef’s a transplant from up north), with a grilled cheese sandwich oozing melted foie gras; and pancakes stacked with briny roe, fish tartare and cool, tangy yogurt. And while these deliciously lunatic dishes may seem born of bloodshot ravenousness, you won’t need the munchies to flip for them. Chez Sardine, 183 W10th St at W 4th St (646-360-3705, chezsardine.com)

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