****THIS RESTAURANT IS NOW CLOSED****
Woo-hoo! I get so excited when I find a new restaurant that is good. Really good. And not a chain! Oh happy day. So hubby and I came by Miyagi's seperately and yet both suggested it the same week for date night. We had both seen an ad for it, and I will admit, been drawn to the coupons for the place mixed with the description as French infused Japanese. And face it, we were looking for something new.
So, we were doubtful, and even had back up plans if it looked too questionable. (I mean, it is not often that we choose a restaurant based on coupons in a free mailer) But we pulled up to the location on 96th street (near Keystone) and were pleasantly surprised by the modern decor and prompt greeting. We were seated and ordered drinks (there is a full bar for those who are interested). As we perused the menu, we were happy to see an actual French influence on many of the options. There were so many things I wanted to order. You need the first drink to have whilst you look over everything on the menu, as it is quite extensive. There is a hot kitchen and a cold kitchen and separate appetizers and entrees (well, sushi rolls for the cold kitchen and regular main courses on the warm side). I was thrilled when I saw all the choices on the hot appetizer side. All of my favorite things, crab and shrimp, scallops, rare-cooked high quality meats, all combined with citrus and ponzu sauces. Yummy.
I decided to go with 3 appetizers and have a tapas-style meal. I had the soft shell crab (natch), gyu no tataky, or thin slices of filet mignon atop cucumbers, tomatoes and avocado, and the lobster spring rolls. Hubby ordered off the cold menu and got the Hamachi appetizer (which is actually cooked quickly at the table) and a fancy roll called a diablo roll.
The lobster spring rolls came first and they were outstanding! They were crispy and served over a bed of mango chutney with a orange vinaigrette. They were perfectly cooked and we both loved them. Next came the soft shell crab which had a soy based sauce with it. Now you know how much I love soft shell crab and these certainly did not disappoint. My final choice was the beef dish which was very medium rare (which is exactly how I like to eat beef) and it was served with very thin (wafer thin) slices of tomato, cucumber and avocado. It was quite tasty as well, but probably not quite as good as the other things.
Hubby's hamachi, which as mentioned was cooked at the table, was probably the biggest disappointment. It was good, but cooking it even that long was too much. Maybe sear it on one side only for a couple seconds. The seasonings were good though. If it wasn't so tough, it would've been better. His roll, on the other hand, was outstanding. It was tempura king crab and shrimp wrapped in the classic rice with salmon on top and roe as well as a delicious spicy sauce. It isn't on all the menus (apparently, even though they have only been open for 3 months, they already have an "old" and "new" menu. But if you like fancy rolls, order it!
We also tried the honey bread dessert on our waiter's recommendation. It was sort of a sweet bread drizzled with a honey cinnamon sauce and served with ice cream. I wasn't overly excited about it, but the waiter had not steered us wrong so far, so we went for it (and after all, we did have that coupon!). It was really good. The bread was crispy and mixed with the ice cream and sauce, it made a really good combination.
The service was very attentive and informative. Our server really knew the food and made great recommendations on the whole. By the end of the meal, he was a bit almost pushy and a tad know it all-ish which got annoying. But he did really know and appreciate the food.
The wine choices were somewhat limited (which seems to be the case with most Asian restaurants it seems, well, except Shaghai Lil which has great choices) and a little on the flowery/sweet side for me, but I know that is what you are supposed to drink with spicy, or Asian food, and I struggled through, but would love to see a few more crisp choices by the glass. Hubby had a mixed drink to start which he said was very good.
We will certainly be back--and I will order some of the same things and some different things off the appetizer menu. There were so many appealing choices!
One last thing, I think they should drop the "'s" after Miyagi and just be "Miyagi" instead of "Miyagi's." It sounds like it is owned by the guy from the Karate Kid movie. Just my 2 cents.
3625 East 96th Street