June 22, 2014- By Steven E. Greer
Well, it took me a while, but I finally got around to visiting Morimoto on 16th Street and 10th Avenue. It is a joint venture between Stephen Starr and Chef Masaharu Morimoto. It opened in 2006, withstood the worst financial crash in history, and is vibrant and booming eight years later.
After filming Brushstroke and Blue Ribbon Sushi, I wanted to continue my Japanese education. Tonight, I received a two-hour, 11 to 15 course (depending on how you count it), meal/class. It was one of the best dining experiences of my life.
General Manager Susan Lee placed me right in front of the senior sushi chef, Robby Cook. He is Caucasian with a Japanese wife.
How good is Robby Cook? Dining with me was a Japanese expert, Mr. Tham Khai Meng, the Worldwide Chief Creative Officer for one of the largest advertising agencies, Ogilvy & Mather (In other words, he is like a big Don Draper). He had just landed from a flight from Cannes, France, and brought his family straight to Morimoto. I asked him why he liked the place, and he singled out Robby.
The atmosphere of Morimoto is hip and cutting edge, like a Meatpacking restaurant, but with fine dining quality.
I started off with several sashimi servings. One was a swordfish fillet, grilled on the outside, raw on the inside, with a nice variety of texture.
Chef Morimoto has created a type of Fondue, where one dips vegetables into a puree of fish. Then arrived five pieces of sushi. See the video for a great demonstration by Robby.