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Dieci is a restaurant in the East Village serving Japanese style Italian. Often times when one culture tries to adapt another culture’s cuisine to its own taste, the results are a disaster. However, Japan has been able to take other cuisines and create something is different yet still good. In particular, Japan is known for its French, Italian and Chinese cuisines. In fact, Japan has Michelin star restaurants in such cuisines. Dieci gives you a flavor for what this type of cuisine is.
The restaurant is a small room in the basement level. It’s intimate and the type of place you would bring a date. The service is always excellent and it’s an enjoyable place to have dinner.
Zuke Tuna Salad
This is sliced tuna with squash, snap pea and greens in a truffle soy dressing. The tuna and vegetables are good quality, but the dressing was a bit too sweet. It’s an alright dish, but I thought was a bit of an odd choice to put on the menu and didn’t really stand out. 7.5/10
This is small baked potato topped with uni. This sounds awesome although I found that the uni and potato didn’t really do much for each other. It’s well cooked, but it ends up just tasting like a creamy potato. 7.75/10
Chawanmushi is a savory Japanese egg custard that I grew up eating. However, the chawanmushi at Dieci is far more decadent than what I grew up eating. It has foie gras pureed into it, which gives it a much richer flavor. It’s topped with mushrooms, chives and savory broth. This is one of my favorite dishes here and I highly recommend ordering it. 8.5/10
Uni Egg Scramble
This is scrambled egg topped with uni and sturgeon caviar in a savory broth. This is another dish I really like here. The creaminess of the uni, saltiness of the caviar, the savory broth and egg really pair well together. This is a great dish. 8.5/10
This is roasted brussel sprouts topped with parmesan, miso and walnuts. It’s a pretty decent dish although I wouldn’t say it stands out. 7.75/10
This is fluke sashimi in a yuzu pepper and ceviche sauce. This dish works better than the zuke tuna salad. The sauce is not overpowering and goes well with the fluke. 8/10
This is squid ink tagliolini with calamari in a tomato sauce. The tagliolini is has great texture and is perfectly al dente. The tomato sauce compliments the tagliolini and calamari perfectly. This is another dish that I really enjoy at Dieci. 8.5/10
This is ramen noodles in a spicy lamb bolognese sauce. The noodles are al dente and bolognese sauce is hearty and goes well with the ramen. 8/10
This is fettuccine with sea urchin and calamari in a creamy sauce. The pasta, uni and calamari are good. However, I found the sauce a bit lacking in flavor. If the sauce was a bit more flavorful this dish could be a winner. 7.75/10
Filet Mignon Steak
This is a filet mignon steak topped with a truffle soy reduction and mushroom couscous. The steak is excellent and the sauce pairs perfectly with it. The mushroom couscous is a nice side dish to go with the steak. 8.25/10
Japanese Red Snapper Chazuke
Chazuke is a simple Japanese dish that I also grew up eating which is simply rice with tea poured over it and topped with seasoning. This is a more refined version with seared red snapper on top of grilled vegetable rice ball with hoji tea soup poured over it. The fish was perfectly cooked and went well with the rice and broth. This was a nice dish. 8/10
This was a special. It was a chocolate soufflé with earl grey ice cream. The dessert is pretty self-explanatory and was really good. If they happen to have this, definitely order it. 8.25/10
Overall, while not every dish is a hit, the dishes that are good are excellent and it’s become one of the restaurants that I regularly go to. I highly recommend checking it out.