West Village: EN Japanese Brasserie, GROM

A few weeks ago, one of my best friends from home happened to be in the city for work and we decided that it was the perfect occasion to catch up over some tasty food. J and Y had suggested I try EN in the West Village and I was definitely excited to try some authentic izakaya dishes with H on her visit to New York. The restaurant itself was spacious and beautiful on the inside – this is what you see as you first walk in: Izakaya style means that the food is served similar to that of snack/drinking bars in Japan. The menu consisted of an extensive list of sake and tapas size dishes.

To start the meal, we ordered the fresh tofu along with a trio of appetizers:

The tofu was incredibly tender and flavorful, with a melt-in-your-mouth quality to it.

The appetizers were a trio of vegetables – bright crisp asparagus with tofu, pickled cabbage and scallop, sundried daikon.

For our main courses, we ordered a variety of seafood dishes since our dinner companion was a pescatarian. The first dish that came out was the eel with sesame tofu- the tofu matched the rich and creamy consistency of the eel, and the sesame imparted a delicious toasty flavor to the dish.

Following that, we had the miso-glazed black cod – the fish was a pretty hearty and satisfying, even though we each only got to try a small piece of it!

Finally, our last entree was the uni roll. I was looking forward to this dish because I have read many food bloggers’ raves about uni (sea urchin), and I had never had the chance to try it myself. Maybe my expectations were too high, or maybe my taste buds are not refined enough, but the uni was actually the least appealing part of the meal for me. In a roll, the uni was only okay – the texture and taste would have been less enjoyable had it been served as sashimi. It sure looks pretty though, doesn’t it?

To finish off this luxurious meal (and also since we happened to be in West Village), we ventured to GROM, which has some of the best gelato in the city!

EN Japanese Brasserie: 435 Hudson St., New York, NY

GROM: 233 Bleecker St.

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