Staying under the radar for more than 2 years in the heart of Manhattan and still making a buzz, it was unheard of. But somehow the Bohemian has done and continues to do it. It’s not the new boss on the block (although the name can be confusing) but one of the best Japanese restaurants in New York City.
A very clandestine restaurant, a speakeasy for sure, but not at all like the others. Here, as Chef Kiyo Shinoki says, it's a Family secret for friends of the Family Friends. No phone number, no address available to the public. To gain entry to this den, you’ll have to be on your toes. Or rather, call the Godfather or his assistant, Diane from SoBarnes, to get access to the private line to make a reservation. That's not all, you’ll still be asked to present your credential and answer the question: "Who gave you the restaurant’s number?" It’s clear, there’s nothing easy about getting into this speakeasy but still, it’s worth a go.
Meet on a paved street in NoHo Manhattan, 57 Great Jones Street to be exact. Your date may be a bit worried, "What are we going to do in a butcher shop at this hour?" "Yes, because here, only Kobe beef - also known as Washugyu - is sold. When we told you clandestine, we weren’t joking.
Push open the door, walk along the narrow corridor, ring and wait. Finally, enter the small restaurant. Supposedly, it was the former studio of artist Jean-Michel Basquiat and a property of Andy Warhol. The place is atypical: apartment-style with an indoor miniature Japanese garden, musical instruments hanging on the wall.
At the table next to you (there are only 6 exclusive tables), you’ll find some Japanese patrons, which is always a good sign. Word of the chef’s reputation has spread like wildfire in New York, praising Kiyo’s incredible dishes and extraordinary tasting menu. All this buzz of his creative recipes and their subtle flavors does not go underserved. Try the Washugyu tartare, the oysters with cider and lime vinegar, an entire grilled bass with anchovy fillets and Kalamata olive, and vegetable fondue. The atmosphere is nice, so take your time, and savor this well-kept secret.
Now that you’re in the books of the Godfather, oops, the Bohemian, the code is "mum’s the word!” After all, there are only 6 tables.
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