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435 Hudson St., nr. Leroy St. (West Village)
New York, NY
(1) 212-647-9196 | www.enjb.com
HOURSSun.: 11:00am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-10:30pm; Mon.-Thurs.: 12:00pm-2:30pm, 5:30pm-10:30pm; Fri.: 12:00pm-2:30pm, 5:30pm-11:30pm; Sat.: 11:00am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-11:30pm
BEST FORLunch, dinner
BARYes - with seating
PRICE (APPETIZER; ENTRÉE)USD 6-19; USD 12-32
FAMOUS PLATESFresh tofu; clay rice pot with salmon; stone grilled meat; crispy fried chicken
DRINKS AND WINEWine; cocktails; extensive sake list
# OF SEATS200
PRIVATE ROOM AVAILABLE?Yes - diverse selection of private rooms; Western and tatami style available
SUBWAYHouston St. (1); W. 4th St.-Washington Sq. (A, B, C, D, E, F, M); Spring St. (C, E)
EN-thusiasts adore this spacious West Village spot for its swank-meets-Zen ambiance. Fresh floral arrangements and flowing water in the dining room’s granite fountain encourages the same sense of tranquility found at any quality spa. But, lovely as the surrounds are, we come for the Japanese fare, which goes well beyond sushi. A focus on izakaya (traditional Japanese small plates or bar food) means bites like homemade tofu, stone grilled meat and chicken, rices, and salads. Note that seating is a bit of a mixed bag: there are tables around the outer edge of the restaurant, as well as communal dining counters in the center of the room and, separately, with views of the kitchen. Diners may also be seated in the front bar/lounge area.
Foodies (we’ve dined next to Food Network stars) and West Village locals.
WHAT WE WOULD WEAR
Understated elegance; a flirty sundress in muted colors, or an au courant silk top with jeans and funky heels.
GO HERE WITH
Colleagues; a date
WHY WE LIKE IT
The atmospheric surrounds are eye-popping: with the high ceilings, dark slate colored walls, and large wooden tables, you’ll swear the C train dropped you off in Tokyo. And we love the small plates approach to Japanese food.
WHAT WE WOULD CHANGE
The downside of such an airy space is that it can feel a bit large and impersonal. While many dig the communal counter seating (this is generally used for smaller parties, while tables are reserved for larger groups), we prefer table seating. Parties of two are likely to get a center counter seat, so be sure to request a table upon reserving if that’s what you prefer (and specify that you prefer the main room).
GOOD TO KNOW
A selection of special dinners is offered throughout the week. For example, a staff favorite of fish heads, eel bones, and beer is served every first Thursday of the month. Kaiseki menus are available for $65 or $95 per person. If your beer isn’t served ice cold, request one of the sweet individual beer buckets.
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