clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

The Early Word on David Bouley's Latest, Brushstroke

If you buy something from an Eater link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics policy.

Brushstroke, David Bouley's restaurant/partnership with the Tsuji cooking school in Osaka, opened to the public on April 20th after some delays. Brushstroke is located in the old Danube/Secession space on Duane Street in where else but Tribeca. Reviews are in, and people seem to be into the new concept. Let's continue to the early word:

The A Little Bit Kinky Yet Successful News: Yelper Avi D. has been looking for a nice new go to Japanese place since Matsugen closed, and he thinks this may just be it. He writes: "We went on the second night of "official" opening... so there's still some kinks to work out but it was a very promising meal... The main chefs bar (where we sat) was a fun spot to watch the goings on (towards the end of the meal David Bouley was walking some of the chefs through some techniques just to our right)... 8 course tasting menu, with a couple of things thrown in on top of that. I'd say every course was successful and some were pretty spectacular, dungeness crab and truffle chawan mushi, a lobster tail something or other, the rice pot with crab and salmon roe, all (4 or 5?) desserts, with bonus points for the rice paper one... Its not cheap, but its very good and definitely worth a try" [Yelp]

The Magical News: A lone review from a user named "Tanner" on New York Magazine's Brushstroke listing provides a very positive view of the new restaurant. Tanner says: "Kaiseki style (like nouvelle cuisine) Japanese food prepared from a spiritual, very personal place is what Chef Yamada is tapping into. The interior decor, raw materials used in the room allow you to make it your own, the dishes presented is an education into health and pure flavor both visually and through taste. The stress of the city seems to have been eliminated from this TriBeCa corner. It's truly an ethereal experience. Favorites served were the fermented tofu that tasted like fois gras, the oysters mixed with kombu and sancho pepper. To talk of the ingredients does not do justice to the execution. Chef Yamada is a true talent - it's hard to say how he creates the magic. And worth going back as the menu changes from week to week with the seasons." [NYM]

The He's Outdone Himself News: Stefie of Four Tines and a Napkin pens a lengthy review of Brushstroke, complete with many beautiful photos, and she really loved it. She writes "I really believe Chef Bouley has really outdone himself with Brushstroke--in design and in cuisine. The collaboration with the Tsuji cooking school of Osaka is undoubtedly evident in the execution of all of the dishes that are served to the restaurant's patrons. Everything is meticulous, deliberate, and pragmatically implemented. There have been many times I've been to restaurants where American chefs attempt to carry out Japanese/Pan-Asian cuisine to the best of their ability, but more times than not, the menu offerings result in a fusion of dishes that stray away from the traditional dishes (most of the time for the worse--not enhancing it at all), making them highly "Americanized." ... However, in the case of Chef Bouley's Brushstroke (and my experience at Chef Harold Dieterle's Thai spot, Kin Shop), you most certainly do not feel this way at all. You feel as if you're in a Japanese restaurant, free of American context, perhaps even to the point where you're sitting at a restaurant counter in Kyoto, Japan... But nevertheless, Chef Bouley respects authenticity to its highest honor--where there is no skepticism or suspicion that these dishes aren't prepared in the traditional Japanese ways, perhaps with a little modern twist that enhances the overall experience of the dish. After all, that's what conducting all the work, studies, and experiments in the Bouley test kitchen was for--the bragging rights for true authenticity." [Four Tines and a Napkin]

The Disappointed News: A Tribeca Citizen commenter named Rachel T. wrote about her mediocre experience as a walk in to the bar where she ordered some dishes a la carte. In her long comment she mentions a lot about the small portions: "...We got our next three dishes: grilled lobster tail, tuna tartare and seared Wagyu beef. The lobster tail was also tiny (maybe from a 1/2 to 3/4 pound lobster?) and was very plain. The tuna tartare was excellent, but it was just tuna tartare, so not that exciting. The Wagyu beef ($24) was also excellent, and was finally the only dish that I would categorize as large enough to be “small to medium sized... After all that, we were still pretty hungry and had some wine to finish, so we decided to order a sushi roll. There were three different types of tuna rolls, so we asked about them and ended up ordering the one that was the traditional preparation of the chef’s hometown. It was just flat-out bad. The fish just wasn’t the quality I would’ve expected. Given how hungry we were, we finished it anyway." Ouch. She does have some hope though: "I would be interested in coming back some time with a reservation and give the tasting menu a second chance, but I probably won’t choose to eat in the bar area again." [Tribeca Citizen]

The Heavy Praise: An anonymous Eater commenter (#13) loved Brushstroke. In his short and super sweet comment on the Eater Inside post he writes: "A real gift to the neighborhood, change is good! Embrace what's next! Every dish was filled with subtle flavors and bold direction. The cocktails were divine! All said, there is nothing like this in the United States. Congratulations! Chef Yamada is the rising star!" [~ENY~]


30 Hudson Street, New York, NY 10013 Visit Website


30 Hudson St., New York, Ny