205 East 45th Street, 212-867-4200
Like truffle oil and escargot, Kobe beef is one of those overhyped, overpriced, overexposed delicacies that never quite live up to their reputation. Not, that is, until Marcus Samuelsson and his maestro sushi chef, Shigenori Tanaka (formerly of Jewel Bako), began serving a sushi variation of the dish at their new restaurant, Riingo. This Kobe isn’t bombed with too much teriyaki sauce or charred within an inch of its life. It’s presented raw over a mound of rice, with a little topping of ground daikon. In this chaste state, the beef gives off a pinkish glow (like the finest o-toro tuna belly), and leaves a slick of richness, which the daikon cuts in a most pleasing way, as it slides down the throat (like o-toro). Sadly (like o-toro), it costs $8 per piece.
From the 2004 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine
So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).