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Eater Inside: Kyotofu

[Kalina, 11/2/06.]

Not to be confused with the mess hall aboard the USS Enterprise, this is Kyotofu, the Japanese dessert bar and cafe that opens today in Hell's Kitchen. Though it is an import with roots already planted in the Far East, there is local talent manning this location: The head chef is Ritsuko Yamaguchi, who has done time at Daniel, Ringo and Cru; and the space is designed by Hiromi Tsuruta, who first crafted Jewel Bako, Chikalicious and Momofuku. From official materials:

A cobblestone walkway guides patrons to a pod-like dining room featuring gleaming circular light fixtures and quilted, white leather couches: a truly modern interpretation of a conventional Kyoto-style home. The menu reflects this duality as well, balancing its all-natural recipes with a sophisticated, handpicked selection of sakes, teas, shochu cocktails, champagnes, and assorted wines.
Signature items: Warm Chestnut Mochi Chocolate Cake, Tahitian Vanilla and Walnut Parfait, Green Tea Chocolate Dipped Okara (soybean) Cookies and Ginger Infused Sticky Rice Pudding. Also being offered are booze pairings, with a heavy emphasis on sake and Shochu.

With trepidation -- this is a Japanese-imported (trend 1) dessert bar (trend 2) offering sake pairings (trend 3) and Shochu (trend 4) -- we'll label this one New Black for now and keep a close watch.