If you haven’t been able to tell yet, my favorite food is sushi – all types, fish, shapes and sizes. If it was acceptable, I could eat sushi for breakfast, lunch and dinner. When I heard Natsumi was opening a “Tapas” style location on the East Side, I had to pay them a visit ASAP because what’s better than being able to split a bunch of sushi dishes?
I went on a Tuesday night around 6:30PM and it was poppin’ at the bar for Happy Hour. The new modern space, located in “Upper Gramercy” features an Asian-fusion menu with dishes inspired by both Japanese and Italian origins. Interesting, but intriguing right? Who would think to get meatballs or ravioli at an Asian restaurant? Needless to say, I ended up sticking with the Asian route.
The menu was super overwhelming. I probably needed a good half hour to go through the entire thing, but I was so hangry, impulsive and made a quick decision.
Here’s what we got:
TUNA TARTAR MARTINI: avocado, mango, yuzu miso and basil pesto
This was delicious, but way too tiny, even for tapas…the dish was the size of my fist.
EDAMAME: choice of spicy or sea salt
We got sea salt and it was good. Nothing special.
This was just weird -- definitely not your average seaweed salad. In fact, it's well below average. I would stay away from this.
RAINBOW SASHIMI CUCUMBER ROLL: tuna, salmon, super white tuna and avocado
Your basic Naruto Roll. It was good and the fish was fresh!
SQUARANO: seared tuna, seared salmon, kani, avocado, scallion, pepperoncini and green tea aioli
SALMON JALEPENO AND SALMON PEPPERONCINI
This was super interesting. Not a huge pepperoncini fan, but the other fish worked well to mask the taste.
“WOLF HALL” ROLL: spicy salmon, spicy super white tuna, spicy tuna and tobiko over tempura roll
This was my favorite roll by far. I would highly recommend it and wish other restaurants could pull it off. The tri-colored tobiko was also just foodgasmic!
For the time being, I have to give Natsumi Tapas a 7/10. Not sure if I got all the right dishes (except the Wolf Hall roll), but I would like to give it another shot. After all, there are 200 other things on the menu that I haven’t tried. It’s definitely a great spot to go with a big group of friends, so you can sample a bit of everything or a good date spot if you both have the same taste in food. The service was also great and the staff was very nice and attentive.