Pete Wells Gives 4 Stars to Sushi Nakazawa

'… almost everything Mr. Nakazawa cups in his hands and places in front of you is an event on its own,' says Pete Wells.

This week, The New York Times restaurant critic Pete Wells reviews and gives four stars to the West Village’s Sushi Nakazawa, where chef Daisuke Nakazawa was late for dinner at his own restaurant but nonetheless, slid behind the counter and delivered with "eye-opening" sushi. The New York Times’ last four-star sushi restaurant Masa was named by Frank Bruni  and later demoted by Sam Sifton. Sushi Nakazawa's four-star rating marks the sixth four-star restaurant in New York City.

After returning from an incident in which the police had towed his car from the parking lot at Pier 76, Mr. Nakazawa apologized and immediately went to work. Wells assures us that "almost everything Mr. Nakazawa cups in his hands and places in front of you is an event on its own." "A piece of his sushi grabs control of your senses, and when it’s gone, you wish you could have it again," he says.

Wells is able to recall the appearance, texture, and flavor of every dish he ate: "I remember precisely the dull luster of Mr. Nakazawa’s mackerel and the way its initial firmness gave way to a minor-key note of pickled fish and a major-key richness that kept building the longer I chewed. I can feel the warmth of just-poached blue shrimp from the South Pacific islands of New Caledonia, which had a flavor that was deep, clean and delicate at the same time. I can tell you about the burning-leaf smell of skipjack smoked over smoldering hay until it becomes a softer, aquatic version of aged Italian speck."

Complimenting the chef, Wells says, "Welcome to New York, Mr. Nakazawa," and adds, "Please read those parking signs carefully, though."


For Wells' full review, click here.