Michelin-starred Upper East Side sushi destination Sushi Noz has made its way downtown. The restaurant expands this week with the opening of Noz 17 at 458 West 17th Street, at 10th Avenue, in Chelsea.
Sushi Noz’s $395 edomae omakase — which starts with five to six small plates and moves into a traditional lineup of 10 to 15 courses of nigiri — under chef Abe Nozomu garnered favorable reviews from NYC’s restaurant critics, including Eater critic Ryan Sutton. At his side, chef Junichi Matsuzaki oversaw the Ash Room at Sushi Noz, where he was in charge of a $225 nigiri menu. Now Matsuzaki is stepping into the spotlight at Noz 17 with a more varied, less traditional edomae-style tasting menu.
Matsuzaki’s 30 to 35-course omakase at Noz 17 dials into individual ingredients in bite-sized form, co-owner Josh Foulquier explains. During the opening weeks, for instance, the chef is experimenting with a variety of cuts of Japanese yellowtail from the belly, tail, and loin. He’ll prepare it in four different ways, including as shabu shabu, sashimi, nigiri, and a hand roll.
The menu “is much more adventurous,” Foulquier says. “It’s much less about recipe-driven dishes as much as it is about highlighting specific ingredients and presenting them really minimally.” The roughly two-and-a-half hour omakase is $400 per person, excluding drinks and taxes.
Similar to Sushi Noz, the restaurant was designed by Kyoto-based firm Sankakuya and features soft lighting and light wood interiors. There are seven seats at Noz 17’s sushi bar.
The timing of the opening — coinciding with another COVID-19 wave in NYC — is not ideal, Foulquier admits. But employees from the company’s temporarily-closed Noz Market on the Upper East Side were already set to start at Noz 17. If the restaurant didn’t open, “I wouldn’t be able to retain all my staff and keep them employed,” Foulquier says.
The opening did not escape supply chain snarls, either. “Materials that usually take a week to arrive were taking 40 to 60 days to arrive,” Foulquier says. The restaurant’s bar chairs, ordered in May, arrived on December 21, a day ahead of the restaurant’s opening.
Despite the hurdles, Foulquier was proud to finally open Noz 17’s doors after planning the project for over two years. And there’s more on the horizon: he noted that he and his business partners have signed a lease on a new Upper East Side spot where they are planning to open a French bistro in late 2022. They are also in the process of reopening their Miami restaurant Fooq’s, and expanding Sushi Noz to Los Angeles.
Noz 17 is open Monday through Saturday with two seatings per night, at 6 and 9 p.m. Closed Sundays.