Additional details now in on that Ichimura revamp: Proprietor Idan Elkon has indeed renamed his cozy Tribeca space Shoji at 69 Leonard Street, helmed by New York-native Derek Wilcox, who will plate a kappo-style menu, featuring 16 to 18 courses built of both kaiseki and Edomae sushi (which includes steamed, fried, simmered, raw, and grilled preparations). The $210 menu is down from Ichimura’s $300 price.
Elkon confirms that Wilcox will remain at the restaurant for at least the next six months, and possibly longer. He says he decided to bring Wilcox on because “He has a wealth of knowledge concerning Japanese food and culture,” and that the chef “will be a tremendous bridge between Japan and the United States in bringing authentic Japanese cuisine to New York.” He spent seven years apprenticing at Kyoto’s three Michelin starred kaiseki restaurant Kikunoi.
Wilcox’s menu will fluctuate based on seasonal ingredient availability; a fishmonger at Tsukiji will select most of Wilcox’s fish, which Elkon plans to fly in several times per week.
Some of his sample dishes will include horsehair crab with caviar, daikon seeds, miso-infused avocado and cucumber tosazu; chilled wasabi leaf soup with sea urchin tofu and nadeshiko blossom; and cuttlefish sushi with sudachi and sea salt.
The restaurant formerly known as Ichimura opened in late January as one of the spendiest places to eat sushi in New York City. In June, chef Ichimura took a temporary leave for health reasons that quickly turned permanent and nasty, per a lawsuit between him and Elkon. He has since left and started working at newly opened LES restaurant Uchu.