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Masa Now Has a Kaiseki Restaurant, and It’s Also Pricey

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Basement, underneath Tetsu, costs $350 a head

Basement at Tetsu
Basement at Tetsu
Photo by Dacia Pierson via Tetsu

A week after scoring a two-star thumbs-up from Times critic Pete Wells, casual Tribeca robata Tetsu tonight adds Basement, a more upscale, meat-filled tasting menu in the basement from famed chef-owner Masa Takayama.

For $350, luxe ingredients such as squab, A5 wagyu beef, Ohmi roast beef, and whole fish are used in highly seasonal dishes. As is standard for kaiseki, the Japanese tradition of tasting menus that change frequently with the season and incorporate nature, the food here will change daily.

There isn’t a paired drink menu, but cocktails made for this area include the “beet tegroni” with blanco tequila, Campari, and charred beet. The basement continues Testu’s industrial feel, with cast iron columns, exposed brick walls, and a 22-foot-long African Bubinga wood countertop. The space seats 39 people.

Takayama is known as the chef that charges the most for sushi in the country, where diners get nigiri topped with truffles, caviar, and all the baller ingredients one would expect with $595 sushi. While $350 for kaiseki is still a high number — other kaisekis around town such as Mifune and Brushstroke charge $120 and $135, respectively — it’s 40 percent lower than it is to eat Takayama‘s food at his flagship Time Warner Center restaurant.

Basement is open for dinner Wednesday through Friday, and Takayama will be on hand for the first few weeks before splitting his time between Masa and Basement. Reservations are required.


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