Once again a first time visit for my wife and I (we like Teppo and make do with Blue Fish, normally). I was kind of dreading this one for some reason, thinking we’d be scoffed at by the waiter and so forth. Quite the opposite. Our waitress, Fika, was amazing. She was full of just the right amount of information before we’d even thought of the questions. She was bubbly, but in a totally helpful, loveable way – a rare find indeed.
The best way to start this journey is to tell you that we were seated at the banquette just south of the kitchen area in between Neighbors #1 (a very foreign, extremely attractive couple in their late 20’s, early 30’s) and Neighbors #2 (a relationship we couldn’t figure out between a late 30’s woman and an early 50’s married man with a penchant for telling tall tales loudly enough that all my wife and I have done since we left is imitate him).
Enter Fika with our wine menu and the bottled water we ordered. We opted for a bottle of Pinot Blanc which paired extremely well with the sushi rolls and fish.
Neighbors #1 insisted that we order the Rock Shrimp Tempura with Creamy Spicy Sauce. This is the second time they’d had it today and they even shoved the bowl over to my wife and urged her to have a taste. She obliged and it was now part of our meal (at $19, a great addition).
Fika then showed us the Restaurant Week menu, which is apparently available year round sans dessert. I was feeling less special at this point, but only for about five minutes because the food started arriving.
At this point we overheard that Neighbor #2 Man has an extraordinary sense of hearing – to the point that it’s distracting to him and could be a “disability.” We don’t really care about all that because we’ve just had a cucumber/seaweed/sesame taster salad and the Mixed Greens Salad with their signature dressing (standard, but so ridiculously refreshing) and Miso Soup (also standard, but way better than the norm) had just arrived.
Rock Shrimp Tempura arrived shortly thereafter, much to Neighbor #1 Man’s delight. They were just leaving their table and were getting Fika’s name as a tribute to her great service. In this dish, there were literally thirty shrimp in semi-spicy sauce, mixed with greens lightly dressed with something lemon-y and perfect. Like I said, a great addition.
Up next were the Spicy Tuna Roll and California Roll. The options on the Sushi Roll Course are limited to your standard, basic rolls, but did you really expect some luscious Toro dish for $35? Still, wife and I both agree that they’re some of the best rolls of these varieties that we’ve had.
Neighbor #2 Man now declared that he made the two most mature decisions of his life at the age of twenty-two: 1. To never marry “that” woman and 2. To not pursue a career as a professional ball player. Once again, my wife and I had time to briefly smile at each other and then our attention was removed to the main courses. I had the Alaskan Cod with a Miso Glaze and she had the Beef Tenderloin with Wasabi Pepper Sauce. The cod melted in your mouth and the glaze and accompanying sauce were the perfect balance of sweet and salty with the fish. The tenderloin was cooked to a perfect medium rare, and the sauce was more pepper-y than wasabi-y, which threw my wife for a loop, but was tasty, nonetheless.
Neighbor #2 Man once pitched four innings against the Rutgers starting team – three up, three down in all four innings. He also liked batting third in the order. Neighbor #2 Woman was now turned completely sideways in her seat, so as to say that she’s ready to go, even though they’d just ordered dessert.
Speaking of dessert, ours was fabulous. I went for the Lemon Tofu Bar and the wife went for the Chocolate Royale. The lemon bar was so soft and so perfect, even my chocolate-loving companion was won over. The Chocolate Royale was no slouch, offering up a rich, dark chocolate flavor layered on top of a wafer-like crust.
With our bill came two white chocolate morsels with a hint of lemon. We were both stuffed, but I demanded we try them for the sake of this review. They were delightful. The whole experience was delightful. Everyone greeted us on the way in and on the way out. This place is definitely being added to our regular rotation, and I can’t believe I didn’t try it earlier. Neighbors #2 were still there when we left. I hope she had a chance to escape by now……but at least she enjoyed her dinner!!!