I know this post is a bit odd, in that it's not a "regular" restaurant one can go to, but I have to say that the dinner at the James Beard House on Wednesday, May 13th, was fantastic -- and easily one of the very best meals I've had in the past 12 months.
Chef Shotaro Kamio of Iyasare in Berkeley, CA was invited by the James Beard Foundation (JBF) to come and cook, and that he did -- to a sold out house! The menu featured some of the finest Japanese food I have *ever* had, matched beautifully with a different sake with each course. (A complete menu can be found by clicking the link, so I won't bore you with specifics.) I can't speak for everyone, but certainly all the folks at the table where I was seated were blown away!
A word or two about the James Beard House. It's surprisingly small, both in terms of the tiny kitchen -- how you can do a seven-course sit-down meal (plus three sets of passed hors d'oeuvres) for 80 people in that space is beyond me! -- *and* in terms of the actual dining space, where the tables are so tightly packed together, it's a miracle that the waitstaff could squeeze in between the tables. (Skinny thighs *must* be a requirement for all staff!) Anyway, it was a delightful, wonderful, fun, different and extremely tasty evening and I, for one, will make it a point from now on to check out the calendar at the JBF as a part of any future dining plans when visiting NYC.