Chikarashi Isso brings Japanese kappo-style cuisine to FiDi
38 Rector Street (Washington Street)
New York, NY 10006
CHIKARASHI'S NEXT CHAPTER Chikarashi Isso, the first full-service restaurant from the team behind fast-casual destination Chikarashi, opens tonight in the Financial District. Just as Chikarashi takes a singular approach to poke and chirashi, Isso, which translates to "much more" and "sea" in kanji, brings a contemporary perspective to the traditions of Japanese kappo cuisine, an elevated yet relaxed and intimate style of dining with a distinct focus on seasonality.
KAPPO CUISINE, RE-IMAGINEDThe eclectic menu can be enjoyed a la carte or as a "chef's choice" tasting typical of kappo-style cuisine, and is the creation of executive chef and Neta veteran Michael Jong Lim and his team: chef de cuisine Atsushi Kono, formerly of Michelin-starred yakitori destination Torishin, and Le Bernardin and Oiji alumnus, executive sous chef Teddy Kim. Ingredients are sourced from local farms, including Lim's family farm in Connecticut, whenever possible, and condiments such as soy sauce and miso paste, kimchi, tsukemono pickles and gochujang, all made from scratch, form the menu's savory backbone. Each composed plate is a study in technique, from live hotate (sea scallop) seared in the shell with uni and finger limes, to A5 omi wagyu gyu-maki with Kaluga caviar and creme fraîche, to Chawanmushi custard studded with Dungeness crab and kiri mochi. Sasso chicken and vegetable yakitori, cooked over binchotan charcoal, house-made soba and udon and crispy karaage and tempura round out the diverse menu. A thoughtfully curated wine and sake list from Master Sommelier Fred Dexheimer leads the beverage selection, offering up unexpected gems and several by-the-glass options along with cocktails and Japanese whiskey highballs on tap from head bartender Tetsuji Koshio.
NIGHT & DAY
Conceived by Manhattan architecture firm MNDPC, the clean, minimalist design allows the 38-seat space to transition seamlessly from night to day. In the new year, the location will operate as Chikarashi during the day, where guests can order signature rice bowls inspired by Japanese chirashi and Hawaiian poke. At night, maplewood partitions will conceal this portion of the restaurant, transforming the space into Chikarashi Isso. Beyond the soapstone-topped central dining bar, which doubles as counter seating for lunch, a natural hardwood partition screen leads to the warm and inviting main dining room, where a large, black acrylic circle on the far wall, reminiscent of an eclipsed sun, is the focal point of the space.
Tuesday – Saturday: 5pm – 11pm
Lunch from Chikarashi to follow in January