There are a few things that every person must do at least once on a visit to NYC. Visit the Empire State Building. Check. Take a stroll through Central Park. Check. Do a little shopping on Canal St. in some back alley shop that you can only get to through a trick door. Check. Make an attempt to find the best sushi in NYC. Check!
I’m no stranger to NYC and I tried quite a few sushi places. I haven’t been disappointed by any of those restaurants, but I wasn’t blown away either. I was still on a quest to find THE sushi place in NYC. It has so many places to eat that there had to be something that would blow me away, right?! I did a little Yelp search on my last visit and came up with Blue Ribbon Sushi in Soho. Despite the $$$ listed on Yelp, I headed over for a bit to eat around lunch time.
If you walk too fast you could easily miss the front door. Just look for a small tree in the window and you will know you have made it.
Walking in I was greeted by a sleek and modern waiting area. From what I have read, dinner can get super busy here and with no reservations allowed this waiting area can get a little cramped. Fortunately I was here for lunch and there was absolutely no wait.
I was eating by myself so I asked to sit at the sushi bar. It is always fun to watch the sushi chefs work their magic. The way these chefs navigate their knives is amazing and I was totally engrossed.
The service was on point. As soon as I was seated I was brought a warm towel to wipe my hands. Every restaurant should offer this to their customers. My server offered up a few suggestions and then gave me some time to look over the menu.
I sipped on a glass of plum wine and ordered.
Wakame- Green seaweed with sesame dressing. $5.75
Fresh and not overdressed at all. It had a nice balance of sweet and salty that hit the spot and started the meal off on a nice light foot.
Yasei Kinoko- Miso soup with wild mushrooms. $6.50
At first look this soup looks…different. Then I realized that the miso is served on the side and I was supposed to add it it myself. I love miso so I added the whole dish. Greedy. I was intrigued by the mushrooms, but wasn’t sure how they would mix with the miso. I’m still not too sure, but I do know that the mushrooms themselves were perfect. Woodsy, a little spongy, and all kinds of earthy flavors.
Spicy Crab Roll- Blue crab & shiso. $12
By far…my favorite sushi roll to date. Not only at Blue Ribbon, but in general. Blue crab is where it is at. The meat is delicate and slightly sweet. I loved this variation of the crab roll. So simple, but powerful. This dish was was well worth the $12.
Negi Hama- Yellowtail & scallion. $8.25
Easy peasy. The fish tasted fresh. The texture was right. A wonderful little roll. Although at $8.25 it seems a little overpriced.
Ebi Tempura- Fried shrimp with radish sprouts & avocado $11.75
In general I really enjoyed this roll and all of its textures. I wouldn’t say any flavor really stood out for me, but the combo of avocado, sprouts and tempura was a nice melody of textures. This would be a great roll for someone who doesn’t enjoy raw fish and just was looking for something interesting to try.
The only downside to eating along at Blue Ribbon was that I was too stuffed to try the dessert. I have heard rumors that the Green Tea Crème Brulee is something out of this world.
Overall verdict: I’m not sure if this is the BEST sushi in NYC, but it certainly ranks up there in quality and taste. Everything was made well, but I didn’t think that all the rolls warranted the hefty price. Be prepared to shell out some money for your meal. Better yet…come with someone who will pay for you. Don’t forget to try anything with the blue crab! Great service and a friendly, but cozy atmosphere make this a stop I will try again on a future visit to NYC.
My sushi quest in NYC continues. If you have any recommendations, let me know!