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  Occasion: Cuisine: Area: Cost: Rating:
  Night Out Asian East Village Moderate Good


Onto the shadowy darkness of Great Jones Street, Hedeh casts a cool light from its wide, lofty bar, beckoning you inside to a large lounge area decorated with slotted wooden shelves stocked with sake bottles. Here, cocktails are mixed from fresh juices, yuzu, sake and all sorts of other spirits, and are complemented by wafer-thin housemade rice crackers with a spicy kick that leave you parched and craving several rounds of drinks. Beware.

Hedeh, which adds to Ono, Matsuri, Megu, En, and Sachi’s on Clinton as the latest chic sushi-sashimi-sake-and-more spot, opened quietly just down the street from my standard favorite for every and any meal, Five Points, about a month ago. Owned by Isami Nagai (who also owns Go Sushi on St. Mark’s Place), Hedeh is named for its chef Hideyuki (Hedeh) Nakajima, formerly of Matsuhisa, in Aspen.

The dining room, located beyond a bamboo divider, is spare and comfortable, with a long sushi bar and several widely spaced tables, and a private Zen den/dining room toward the back where, coincidentally, some old friends from college were celebrating a birthday. Once we were through with our tall cocktails made of sake and strawberries, we were escorted back beyond the bamboo divide and greeted by shouts of Hello! in Japanese from the line of sushi chefs decked out in hipster driving caps.

To start we ordered a few of the hot appetizers and were very pleased. We loved the shrimp, spinach, and scallion rolls wrapped in soft thin crèpes set in a thick jam-like puddle of spicy red miso and sesame sauce ($10). Ditto for the glazed grilled salmon ($9), served in neat and luscious cubes on top of disc-like slices of sweet grilled zucchini dotted with chive oil nicely heated up with aji panca (a Chilean chile pepper). The beef carpaccio ($15) was also gorgeous—sensual, buttery beef, sliced thick enough to give the meat some heft, that was seared around the edges, and pink and juicy in the center, and topped with a refreshing pile of watercress dressed in garlic-soy sauce.

Pristine platters of sushi ($25) and sashimi ($26) were presented on beautiful wide platters, like jewels on display. Lucky for us, the fish was as lovely to look at and as it was to devour. Rich, marbled toro melted on the tongue, red snapper was like silk, the giant clam was nicely chewy. The list also included a brilliant briny mop of uni, divine sea eel (anago—smooth and creamy flesh, no hair on t ... [more, click below]

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Other restaurants in East Village :
+ Yujin-- Closed   + Jack's Luxury Oyster Bar   + Mermaid Inn   + Five Points   + Lavagna   + Five Points   + Bond Street   + Jewel Bako   + Alphabet Kitchen   + In Vino   + Bao 111   + Chikalicious   + Il Buco   + Hearth   + Lima's Taste   + Mercadito   + Hedeh   + Momofuku   + Una Pizza Napoletana   + Winebar   + Uovo-- CLOSED   + Mo Pitkin's House of Satisfaction   + Gotham Bar & Grill   + Colors   + Chinatown Brasserie   + Knife and Fork   + European Union-- NEW CHEF; SEE APRIL 2007 Review   + Aroma Kitchen and Winebar   + Stand   + European Union   + Mercat   + Gemma   + Back Forty   + The Smith   + Seymour Burton   + Belcourt   + Graffiti   + The Redhead   + Double Crown    + Apiary   + Joe Doe   + Apiary by guest reviewer Kiri Tannenbaum   + DBGB   + Northern Spy   + Goat Town   + Saxon + Parole   + Il Buco Alimentari & Vineria   + Acme   + Calliope   + Nicoletta   + JEPPNEY by Claire Jaffe   + Feast   

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