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15 East

I am very excited to be going to 15 East this evening for a birthday dinner. I love Japanese and especially good sashimi. I rarely get it because my husband hates anything raw. Thankfully, he’s recently caught on to the fact that he likes sushi that is cooked – panko shrimp being his favorite. So, I was able to con him into thinking he’ll be just fine this evening.

15 East feels rare and exotic with its small size and stark decor – I guess you could say it actually feels Japanese!  The chef, Masato Shimizu, is a very talented sushi chef. He cures his own gari (ginger) and produces high-class, simple sushi in the classic Japanese style. There are no tricked-out maki rolls with kiwi or kobe beef on his menu, but what the chef does do is let the quality ingredients shine. You can get seven varieties of silver fish on the à la carte menu.

Finally, I will have myself a lot of sushi and sashimi this evening – I’m just hoping that there is SOMETHING cooked on the menu for my hubby…and maybe even some fancy Japanese  birthday dessert for our best friend…
15 East 15th Street

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Barbuto – no bene


On Sunday afternoon – after watching a portion of a very depressing Steelers’ game at a far too crowded Daddy O’s – my husband, my brother, and I went to Barbuto to grab a late lunch. It was closer to 5pm, so we just wanted some small bites to tie us over till dinner. We looked at the menu, and it was not the same menu we remembered the last time we ate there. It was much more limited, so we figured we could ask if they had what we wanted.

I asked if they had a normal salad – maybe some fennel, tomatoes, veggies, etc – and the waiter said that they did, so I ordered that. M wanted a normal margherita pizza, but they only had a much more intense pizza with eggs and more on it, so M asked if they could make a margherita, and the waiter said no. He then, reluctantly, ordered a salad with chicken and farro to keep it lighter. My brother ordered carbonara pasta – he’s 6’8″ and 23 years old, so he has a need for something heavy about every hour on the hour.

 barbuto collage

When my salad came, it was a pile of arugula on a plate – no dressing, no veggies, not even tomatoes. First of all, I do not like Arugula – I hate it actually. I can only stand it if it is completely disguised by other flavors. Secondly, how in the world did the waiter deduct that I would be ok with arugula on a plate after what I specified?!?

M liked his salad, but was very disappointed with the limited menu and the resistance of the waiter to meet our desires. All he wanted was a pizza with tomato sauce and fresh mozzarella. If an Italian restaurant doesn’t have those items in their kitchen, shame on them. Same goes with my salad – I know they had other lettuce because it came out on M’s salad! I also know they had cherry tomatoes, onions, etc.

It was a very disappointing visit to Barbuto – the service was awful, the menu limited,  and the result = not going back unless I hear it has changed dramatically.

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