In a city teeming with surly waitstaff and second-rate chefs, it’s a shame that Matsuri is one of those restaurants that so easily falls off the radar. Honestly.Â Â Every time I’ve dined here it’s been as good as I last remembered.Â Chef Tadashi Ono’s clean, solid and sensible Japanese cooking is beyond first rate and the ryokan-inspired wooden interiors make for what is possibly the most comfortable – and convivial – dining room in ManhattanÂ Subtly tucked away beneath the Maritime Hotel, you’d never guess the bridge and tunnel crowd were chomping their way through the nearby Meatpacking District like a plague of hungry caterpillars.
If you’ve never been – and need an excuse – October marks the restaurant’s seventh anniversary.Â To celebrate, Chef Ono has created a cleverly-themed month-long Seven Deadly Sins Tasting Menu that I got to experience the other night.Â It’s a bargain at $77.77 and you can take it one giant step further by pairing it with Seven Deadly Sakes for an additional $37.Â (Matsuri boasts NYC’s only sake sommelier, so you’ll be in good hands)Â Either way, it’s time Matsuri got back on the collective radar.Â Trust me, it’ll be as good as you remember.
PRIDE: SASHIMI SELECTION OF TUNA, YELLOWTAIL, SALMON
This dish is portioned for one, no sharing allowed.
ENVY: GREEN SALAD OF WATERCRESS, HIJIKI, SOY DRESSING
Donâ€™t be jealous of your dining companion; the hijiki is always greener on someone elseâ€™s plate.
WRATH: RED HOT SHRIMP SKEWERS, YUZU MARINADE
So good, I forgot to take a picture.Â (And I don’t even like shrimp!)
LUST: APHRODISIAC HOT POT OF OYSTER, SEA URCHIN, YAMAIMO
Eat at your own risk. This dish is nothing short of a love potion.
GLUTTONY: DUCK BREAST ROASTED WITH WASABI SAUSE
For those with elastic waistbands, this decadent dish will hit the spot
SLOTH: BEEF SHORT RIB SLOW COOKED IN MISO BROTH
This slow-cooked dish is nothing to race through, so take your time. I obviously didn’t; forgetting to take a photo until I had cleaned my plate!
GREED: RICH HOT CHOCOLATE CAKE & RASPBERRY SORBET
For those with expensive tastes, this dessert is as rich as they come.