Sea urchin is seeing much wider and more creative uses in the city’s restaurants, and diners seem more willing to try it in unfamiliar contexts, usually paying a premium for the privilege. Following are some restaurants serving sea urchin in dishes that run from the conventional to the frankly wild.Read More
Where to Eat Uni in New York City
Eater critic Robert Sietsema's picks for eating sea urchin over rice, noodles, and even pizza.
At the East Village’s oldest running sushi bar, Hasaki, sea urchin is part of the classic omakase sushi assortment.
Japanese import Ootoya often includes a sea urchin “tongue” in its sashimi collection.
Some of the best and freshest uni sushi in town comes from Chelsea Market’s Lobster Place.
Long Island City’s Mu Ramen offers an appetizer of rice topped with uni (sea urchin) and ikura (salmon roe) called “U & I.”
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One of the city’s few soba (Japanese buckwheat noodle) parlors, Sobakoh assembles a cold noodle bowl with sea urchin, salmon roe, and two varieties of seaweed.
Daringly, Japanese BBQ specialist Takashi tenders an uni tongue on a slab of raw steak carpaccio.
Joe's of Avenue U
At Sicilian old-timer Joe’s of Avenue U in Gravesend, the riccio de mare (sea urchin) is tossed with hot linguine, cooking the echinoderm.
El Quinto Pino
Basque tapas bar El Quinto Pino produces a pressed panini of sea urchin flavored with wasabi, via chefs Alex Raij and Eder Montero.
Mission Chinese Food
At Mission Chinese Food, Danny Bowien pioneered an herbed take on the Japanese custard chawanmushi heavily freighted with uni. (It’s not on the current menu, but a squid-ink flatbread served with uni is.)
The signature pizza of Donatella Arpaia’s newest venture, Prova, features — you guessed it! — sea urchin, squirted all around with squid ink, with no tomato sauce or mozzarella in sight.
Cosme’s chef Enrique Olivera surprised patrons of his new restaurant when he dropped a sea urchin tongue on a tostada shell, creating not only an unusual flavor juxtaposition, but also an oddball color contrast of purple and orange.