Don’t be quick to judge, but when I heard about a BYOB spot in Grammercy, I stopped short and booked a reservation. Mizu happens to hold another allure. Extraordinarily, the restaurant boasts some excellent Japanese cuisine, with a flair for creative sushi rolls and a hip young following. The restaurant is a hop skip and a jump from union square, and I recommend booking a reservation, as they were busy when we arrived Friday night. Low lighting warms the restaurant and draws attention to the spotlit open kitchen in the back, where Sushi chefs wield impressive knives. After reopening under new management, the restaurant sports a sleek new design with soft bamboo augmenting a crisp steel and glass interior.
After our wine was brought back on ice with a flourish, we began with their Tuna Tataki; chunks of moist fish are enlivened by a spicy house sauce. They choose to keep the recipe a secret, so I will have to return frequently to pacify this new craving. A salad came out next, and their ginger dressing was just the way I like it, crisp and clean, while managing to have a scarce kick at the end. The Wild Roll is a doozy – spicy scallop, avocado and caviar are wrapped in soft seaweed and topped with spicy tuna flake. I’m a fan of inventive rolls, and I had trouble picking this one out of a smorgasbord of options, featuring roe, eel and even jalapeno and basil. We also sampled their sushi plate, which provided high quality fish, prepared to perfection.
If fish is something you would rather see encased in fried dough, Mizu’s shrimp tempura udon has a big following and packs a flavor punch of rich-in-pork broth and succulent wheat noodles. They emphatically carry traditional Japanese dishes alongside rolls like the Pink Roll, an in house specialty with a daring pink soy wrap. So, for the pescatarian and the chicken teryaki lover alike, book a reservation, pick up a bottle of wine, and join the Mizu fan club; you won’t find yourself alone.