West Village Hotspot Neta Debuts Spring Menu
Neta is nestled on a block of the West Village that, in the early 2000s, boasted mostly Army-Navy stores, a few naughty shops, a “hattery” and a couple of hole-in-the-wall spots.
For the past five years, though, patrons like Jay-Z and Swizz Beatz have been pulling up in front of Neta to enjoy the constant ambiance of rap and hip-hop — untraditional for a Japanese omakase restaurant, but our waiter told us that the “four-four beat helps with digestion” — and the artful creations of chefs at the open counter. (Tip: This is really where you want to be seated.)
Since the restaurant has been going strong for years now, it tries to keep things fresh, and its spring menu does just that — if you haven’t been, you could make five or six trips and never have the same experience.
New additions from executive chef Sungchul Shim include spring vegetable salad with bonito sashimi, soy milk, poached white asparagus, Romanesco, sweet pepper, Japanese cucumber, and lotus root on a bed of bonito cream and crispy quinoa, and the Neta Danbury, a mini sushi rice bowl accompanied with bluefin toro, shoyu ikura, and Santa Barbara uni on a bed of mixed rice using wasabi tobiko, rayu (chili sesame oil), nori, and diced pickled daikon.
In addition to the menu overhaul, the owners recently gave the ceiling a fresh coat of paint and added new metal and wood accents throughout the space.
Tried and true favorites from Shim, who has cooked in the kitchens of Le Bernardin and Per Se, include Sasso Chicken Karage with citrus gochujang sauce and Uni Porridge with mochi rice, uni, and mitsuba.
At dinner, omakase is offered in courses of eight, nine, or ten (which run you about $250 per person), but the warmer weather brings more approachable offerings, like an abbreviated three-course omakase for $34 at lunch, and an abbreviated six-course omakase for $75 during happy hour (5 to 6:30 p.m.).
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