Fishing for Compliments

Above: Rock Shrimp: Prawns with a sweet and spicy sauce • Good 4 You Roll: Spicy crab, avocado, lobster salad, mango and peanuts • Delight Roll: Spicy scallop and avocado inside, topped with yellowtail and avocado sauce • Godzilla Roll: Spicy tuna, crunch and tobiko inside, topped with avocado and spicy mayo • Jungle Bird cocktail: Plantation Jamaica Rum, Campari, fresh lime and pineapple juice, simple syrup

Miku signifies “beautiful moment” in Japanese, and when you step into this chic new sushi spot on the Avenue, you’ll understand why the name is so fitting. At the heart of the serene space sits a solid wood bar crafted from a single piece of mahogany; behind it, a team of spiffy sushi chefs (itamae) stand ready to transform the fresh line-caught fish into artful rolls, sushi and sashimi. The zen environment is matched only by the exquisite fish and Insta-worthy cocktails. Those who’ve complained that they couldn’t find a local sushi place that lives up to their Manhattan favorite may change their tune after eating here. In fact, word has spread quickly that Bill Clinton visited recently, and the hosts had to juggle reservations because the restaurant was full.

After having success with several sushi restaurants in Westchester (winning Best of Westchester), Miku’s owner K Dong set his sights on Greenwich and wanted to create an upscale experience. He built a small-but-elegant space where every detail matters, from the comfortable layout with the half-moon banquettes and warm gray upholstery to the wood elements and exposed brick that lend a little urban vibe to the place. All of the pottery and glassware was hand selected in Japan. Also coming from the Land of the Rising Sun: daily shipments of fish from Tsukiji market, including more unusual fish such as flying fish, baby yellowtail and a variety of wild, line-caught fish.

The quality of the fish is evident from the start of the meal. Unlike the overly sauced, minced tuna tartare you find at some restaurants, Miku’s rendition is a coarsely chopped tuna over avocado, a minimalist preparation that lets the flavor and freshness of the fish shine. Cooked seafood is equally tasty. A grilled lobster starter is simple yet delicious, a whole lobster tail served piping hot and plated with the shell even though the meat has been carefully removed for easy eating. We loved the balance of textures of the crispy bites appetizer, toasted pieces of rice with a skewer for dipping into spicy tuna, salmon or yellowtail.

Left: Sushi artistry; Right: Omakase (chef’s tasting): live scallops, bluefin tuna, toro, uni, baby yellowtail, Japanese red snapper, king salmon

At a recent dinner on a Tuesday night, we sat at the sushi bar (book ahead to ensure a spot) and ordered à la carte and also opted for omakase, the chef’s selection of the best fish of the day. The chef treated us to a platter of thinly sliced yellowfin, each piece topped with a little jalapeno. The ethereal fish with that kick of pepper is a sublime combination. We also tried the Godzilla Roll, a blend of spicy tuna, crunch and tobiko, draped in avocado. My favorite part of the meal was the seasonal omakase, enough for two, which included melt-in-your-mouth toro, baby yellowtail, wild salmon, scallops, shrimp and Kobe beef. Each piece was exceptional.

In addition to sushi, Miku features grilled entrees, hibachi dinners, udon and soba noodles, teriyaki and tempura as well as salads and bento boxes—enough variety to please all palates (vegan and gluten-free options available, too). While the sushi and sashimi were most memorable, I would definitely order the grilled sea bass again. This perfectly cooked piece of fish is topped with a slightly sweet glaze with a real depth of flavor and rests on a bed of spinach and shitakes.

K, who has worked in all aspects of the restaurant biz and was once a bartender at Nobu, designs all of the cocktails here. He chooses special wines and spirits, such as lemongrass-infused sake, to create drinks like the Sakura Garden, a blend of Japanese whiskey, gin and Negroni garnished with a nasturtium flower. The green-tea margarita was particularly refreshing with dinner (the mocktails are fun, too.)

Service was attentive at both meals I’ve had here. During our sushi-bar dinner, the owner checked in with us multiple times, and he was very hands-on, talking with the sushi chefs, waitstaff and guests throughout the evening. Servers took our order behind the bar, and then we watched as the sushi chefs prepared everything. With the seamless service, we were hardly aware of the guests sitting right next to us until one gentleman who noticed all the dishes we were ordering remarked, “Wow, you guys have amazing appetites!” We laughed at the comment, a beautiful moment indeed.


MIKU
68 Greenwich Avenue
203-900-7676
mikugreenwich.com

Cuisine
Japanese

Hours
Mon-Thur: 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.
Fri-Sat: 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.
Sun: 12:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.

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