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

Restaurants have taken two distinct paths of late. There are “The Gap” restaurants—one on every corner serving panini, stylish comfort food, or global small plates—variations on the theme of Paradou, ‘Cesca, and ‘inotoeca. These are easy, fun, and tasty places to dine and drink, and like The Gap, they fit seamlessly into the culinary scene. The other path—the Indie designer route—think Zak Posen—is a bit more rocky, but all the more rewarding. I am speaking of avant garde, culinary wizards like Wylie Dufresne and Sam Mason at WD-50, Didier Virot and Jehangir Mehta at Aix, and most recently, Josh Dechellis at the newly opened Sumile. These are chefs who dare to be true to their vision in the face of populist trends. Bravo.


At Sumile, a spare, soothing Zen space, with leggy lovelies reclining on pillowed banquettes next to assorted men in waiting, the menu is a celebration of Japanese ingredients and contrasting textures, temperatures, and flavors. Sweet braised gulf shrimp float in a silky horseradish consommé—a soft, glossy, cold broth accented with a sneaky jolt of heat ($14). Silky, poached hamachi with pickled melon and nori salt gracefully flirts with every taste bud. Supple slices of duck swim in a delirious frothy bath made from foie gras mousse and aged sake ($19). The pressed veal head terrine with crispy duck tongue salad ($14) reminded me of something my grandmother used to try and sneak by me at Passover, but pleasing everyone is not necessary. Sumile is not The Gap. And that’s just fine by me.


Sumile,154 West 13th Street (b/w 6th & 7th Avenues), 212-989-7699


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Other restaurants in West Village :
+ Jefferson-- Closed   + La Palapa Rockola   + Sumile   + Babbo   + Tasca   + AOC Bedford   + Home   + The Spotted Pig   + Barbuto   + Numero 26   + Mas   + August   + Alta   + Cru   + Blue Mill Tavern-- Closed   + Employees Only   + Lassi   + Metropol--Closed   + Turks and Frogs   + Bellavitae   + Yumcha-- CLOSED   + Gusto: SEE EARLIER REVIEW; THIS CHEF HAS LEFT GUSTO   + Perry Street   + Home   + Ditch Plains   + The Little Owl   + Cafe Condesa   + Cafe Cluny   + Gusto   + The Waverly Inn   + Morandi   + P*ONG   + Perilla   + Soto   + Market Table   + Centro Vinoteca   + Barfry   + Dell'Anima   + Bar Blanc   + Smith's   + Commerce   + Elettaria   + Bar Q   + Cabrito   + 10 Downing   + Minetta Tavern   + Braeburn   + Scuderia, by guest reviewer Kathleen Squires   + Bar Blanc Bistro by Guest Reviewer Kathleen Squires   + Joseph Leonard   + Bar Henry, by Guest Reviewer Kathleen Squires   + Kin Shop   + Monument Lane   + Wong   + Bin on Bleecker, by Dara Pollak   + Ristorante Rafele   + Cole's Greenwich Village by Guest Reviewer Claire Jaffe   

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