Chikarashi

Yes, they’ve been in existence in the West Coast for some time now, but poké bowls are having a serious moment in New York right now. It’s finally summer and all people want to eat in this heat are something refreshing, poké bowls are the perfect dish for cravings like this.

Opened just in the past month, Chikarashi located on Canal Street between Centre and Baxter Street is one of the newer additions to the growing Hawaiian-inspired restaurants across town. Chef Michael Jong Lim has refined his culinary skills at multiple Michelin-starred kitchens of Masa, Aldea, and Aureole. Their carefully curated menu includes three kinds of fish, salmon, tuna (both regular and toro), and fluke, which are freshly delivered whole everyday. After a thorough explanation of the menu, Naomi decided to get the Goma Shoyu Tuna, a delicious mix of bluefin tuna, goma shoyu (sesame seed soy sauce), chili oil, nori (seaweed), hijiki (sea vegetable), avocado, and garlic chips. I went with the Ponzu Salmon, which included buttery Scottish salmon, wasabi ponzu, strips of shiso, avocado, tobiko (flying fish roe), and shichimi (Japanese seven spice mix). Each bowl speaks to the fusion concept of Hawaiian style poké, Japanese chirashi, along with Korean and Chinese flavors. The sesame seeds and chili oil in the Goma Shoyu Tuna give that Korean and Chinese flair, while the nori and hijiki layer up on the Japanese component of the dish. On the other hand, the Ponzu Salmon, our favorite out of the two, came with refreshing citrus flavors from the ponzu, and the tobiko added a unique crunchy texture. If you are feeling a bit more on the decadent side, you can also switch out your standard tuna with some toro (fatty tuna) for an extra dollar. Finally, after our meal, we got two of their sherbert-like soft serve of pineapple and lemon, finishing our meal with the perfect treat for a hot summer day.

Chikarashi also offers takeout, making it a perfect to-go spot if you work in the SoHo/Chinatown area. We have a feeling we’ll be dropping by for lunch often!

Chikarashi
227 Canal St, New York, NY 10013
(646) 649-5965
chikarashi.com

Red Hook Lobster Pound

Happy National Lobster Day!
Treat yourself to some fresh and delicious lobster rolls at Red Hook Lobster Pound. Ralph Graham and Susan Povich opened up their first restaurant in April 2009, which soon became a huge success. Along with their original space in Red Hook, they also can be found in the East Village, Montauk, and Washington D.C.

We ordered the Maine Style lobster roll, which came with generous heaps of lobster meat. The chilled chunks of lobster were lightly tossed in homemade mayo and topped with a sprinkle of fresh chives, making it a refreshing bite for muggy summer weather. Red Hook Lobster Pound also makes a tasty mac and cheese that comes with thick macaroni and large chunks of lobster meat.

Their East Village location at Extra Place is a hidden gem found in between buildings. Outdoor seating is also available!

Red Hook Lobster Pound
http://www.redhooklobster.com/

Manhattan
16 Extra Place
New York, NY 10003
(212) 777-7225

Red Hook
284 Van Brunt St
Brooklyn, NY 11231
(718) 858-7650

Maison Premiere

Summer Fridays are the perfect time to go to Maison Premiere (cheers to the lucky ones that still have some left!). If you make it ten to fifteen minutes before this oyster bar opens for happy hour, you are likely to get a seat in their romantic backyard.

Fresh raw scallops are sweet as they lack the fishiness of their counterparts, making them our favorite shellfish. Maison Premiere serves a beautiful scallop dish that is almost too pretty to eat. Small chunks of meat are served on a large shell with equally charming toppings of pickled rhubarb and a dust of shaved horseradish ice.

Note, it is recommended that you eat the scallops first, as the horseradish ice is fleeting in warm weather. Also this dish is served only in a couple of their shellfish towers, so be sure to ask your waiter for specifics!

Maison Premiere
298 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211
(347) 335-0446
www.maisonpremiere.com