Why would a well-respected sushi chef suddenly eliminate shrimp and giant clam from his omakase? Hitoshi Saito, who opened Butterfish within the Sony building in March — see a first look here— has partnered with Joey Allaham of Prime Hospitality, who owns the kosher steakhouse Prime Grill. They've converted Butterfish to kosher Japanese. "No crab, no shrimp, no salmon skin roll or other fish with skin," says Saito, who started offering the city's first kosher omakase when the restaurant switched over on Sunday.
The quiet Japanese spot became much busier when Allaham's following got wind of the change. "People are waiting on line to come in but we are limiting it to 200 covers for now," says Allaham, who also owns Pizza da Solo and Illy café in the Sony building. Butterfish will serve cooked Japanese dishes, as well as some offbeat sushi selections like a jalapeño strawberry bresaola roll, curry fennel prosciutto sushi, barbecue chicken sushi, and a veal sweetbread roll. "It sounds weird but it's heavenly," swears Allaham. "And with regular sushi, we serve the rice warm and the fish cold, which makes it melt in your mouth." Though it may be a bit jarring for a traditional chef like Saito, he is game for the challenge. "I am excited because now we are more busy with all these new customers," he says.
· First Glimpse: Hitoshi's Butterfish [~ENY~]
· All Coverage of Butterfish [~ENY~]