Gabe Stulman, the man behind Joseph Leonard, Jeffrey's Grocery, Fedora, and Perla has the magic touch. His "Little Wisco" group of restaurants are awesome. He has his finger on the pulse. His mix of cool and laid back vibe paired with outstanding cuisine, is pure restaurant industry perfection. My favorite restaurant of 2012 is probably his Italian gem Perla. Now, him, and chef Mehdi Brunet-Benkritly have opened up another new spot in the West Village called Chez Sardine, their unique take on a Japanese izakaya. After two meals there, I will tell you there is no other place serving this kind of food in NYC. It's Japanese mixed with French technique, mixed with a whole lot of whimsy.
Pork and Unagi hand roll ($7) is a tasty little snack. I'm a huge fan of unagi hand rolls, and order them often at sushi joints. I never had unagi paired with pork belly, but it's a unique snack, that works.
I absolutely love sea urchin. I have a culinary orgasm after each bite. At chez sardine, they pair a piece of sea urchin sushi with chopped beef ($7). It's a true bite of joy.
A sushi piece of chopped scallop ($6) comes with quail egg and trout roe, another heavenly bite. When I dream, this is what I dream of. Order it.
Foie Gras & Smoked Cheddar Grilled Cheese ($19) comes with pickled cucumbers, and will be one of the best grilled cheese sandwiches you ever eat. Sensational.
Crispy Chicken ($12) comes with kimchi and aioli, and is the only dish at Chez Sardine not worth ordering. I've had plenty of better crispy chicken dishes elsewhere. Skip it.
On my second visit, this time with a group (as opposed to being solo) we had some more tasty and fabulous bites.
Hamachi ($7) with chicharron and ginger is unbelievable. Sushi perfection. Order it.
Smoked Arctic Char ($4) over spicy rice is magical. Order that piece too!
A special of hamachi with egg trout roe, and chicharron, was also absolutely fabulous. A true work of yellowtail art. Wow.
Miso-Maple Salmon Head ($12) is delicious.
Sushi Rice Balls ($13) with avocado, spicy mayo, and tobiko, are fine little bites.
Brussels Sprouts ($8) with apple and brown butter are awesome!
Roasted Pork Belly ($23) with slow cooked egg and cabbage will satisfy all you pork fiends.
So for one of the more unique dining experiences in NYC, with a cool vibe, and tasty fare, Chez Sardine hits the spot. Magical touches await.
183 West 10th Street
New York, NY 10014