Note: First Looks give previews of new dishes, drinks, and menus we're curious about. Since they are arranged photo shoots and interviews with restaurants, we do not make critical evaluations or recommendations.
Note: This venue is now closed.
Masaharu Morimoto is one of the biggest names in Japanese cuisine. The owner of more than five eponymous restaurants, he has also become a veritable celebrity through his appearances on Iron Chef and Iron Chef America.
So the fact that Morimoto opened a restaurant with a menu of Western comfort food in Tribeca a month ago is a bit out of left field. Still, there are Morimoto twists to every classic American dish that Tribeca Canvas offers. Among the reasonably priced "Snacks" are a lamb ragu bun ($5) and a kurobuta corn dog with gochujang ketchup ($9). Entrees include a rack of braised pork ribs with a side of fried rice risotto and a fennel slaw ($22), and even more tweaked usuals appear on the cocktail menu, where there is a michelada with albino python, ginger beer, and togarashi ($12), as well as a Canvas Old Fashioned ($12), made with Maker's Mark, apple cider, and cinnamon.
The project has been in the work for three years with Chef Hisanobu Osaka, who has worked with Morimoto for seven years. Osaka has over a decade of experience at Japanese and French restaurants, and in the past worked with Daniel Boulud and as the chef for the Japanese Embassy. This menu, then, is a bit different for him, too.
The restaurant will be open every night until 4 a.m., a sure draw for restaurant industry workers in the neighborhood.
About the author: Hally Wolhandler is a New York native and life-long food lover. She also interns at Food52, and works in the bakery at Dorie Greenspan's Beurre & Sel cookie company, where she wields the cookie cutters.