There are two types of sushi restaurants in New York: those that offer California roll combos and those that sell you premium toro by the slice, at rates that make the rent on your basement-level studio seem reasonable. Both have their merits and are enjoyable, but for some variety, Maynoki offers a pop-up sushi experience different from any other.
Currently located in that tasting room at Williamsburg's Brooklyn Oenology (BOE), the monthly sixteen-person pop-up dinner pairs local New York wines with a multi-course omakase dinner. Omakase translates to "entrust", allowing the diner to entrust all aspects of the meal to the chef (he'll make sure you don't have peanut allergies).
And at Mayonaki the chef should certainly be trusted. Chef Albert Tse has worked as a sushi chef for over 20 years, gaining fans and culinary greatness at in TriBeCa's Zutto. After leaving the restaurant, two of Tse's biggest groupies, tech entrepreneurs David Torchiano and Josh Arak founded their pop-up supper club to allow New Yorkers to continue enjoying Chef Tse's unique sushi creations.
The nine-course omakase menu changes seasonally, as it features fresh seafood, sourced as locally and sustainably as possible. Brooklyn Oenology provides five hand-selected wines to pair with the courses, balancing acidity and sweetness nicely with their wines created from local New York grapes. Most impressively, however, is that this multicourse meal is made entirely by a single incredibly masterful chef.
Mayanoki draws a regular crowd, and tickets should be purchased well in advance before the limited seats sell out. In addition to regulars, several friends and couples celebrating birthdays (November is 9 months after February, diners calculated) attended November's Mayonaki dinner.
November's menu opened with two outstanding oysters, topped with cubed cucumber, uni, and aged soy, the saltiness perfectly chased down with a sip of BOE's crisp 2012 Shindig Fizzi.
Lobster wrapped in thinly-sliced fluke was a rich, meaty standout course, as was the Tuna Poke, served in a cocktail glass with peanuts adding an extra level of flavor to the already decadent cubes of tuna sprinkled with sesame and soy sauce.
For the finale, diners enjoyed a simple cucumber roll, a thick slice of tuna, and a generous portion of uni atop nori and rice. Dessert was a simple green tea cake, a light and satisfactory conclusion to the meal.
The next Mayanoki dinner is December 12th at Brooklyn Oenology. $95 tickets (including the food and wine pairing, additional glasses or bottles to take home are extra) are available here.