Shoji at 69 Leonard

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86 Very Good

A top-notch Tribeca omakase joint from Virginia-born Derek Wilcox.

69 Leonard St., New York, NY, 10013


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The lowdown

The presence of the genial Derek Wilcox behind the counter at this top-notch Tribeca omakase joint might come as a shock to traditionalists who are used to receiving their monthly (or yearly) rations of fatty otoro from lordly Japanese gentlemen who can trace their pedigrees back through generations of chefs in Japan. But never fear, sushi snobs. Wilcox grew up in the northern Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C., and spent a decade learning the intricacies of the trade in the restaurants and fish markets around Tokyo and Kyoto with a kind of convert’s fervor. At $252 per head (there are slightly cheaper and also more lavish menu options, but this is the most popular), the price of dinner here is on par with other high-tone sushi palaces around the city, and as one carefully sourced, well-constructed little course succeeds another (triggerfish from Montauk, Atlantic bluefin tuna belly, uni from Hokkaido and California, sweet little spot prawns from Santa Barbara), so is the quality.

Adam Platt

What you need to know

DrinksFull Bar

Noise LevelHushed