Patissier Ayako Kurokawa of Dumbo's Burrow gives her recommendations on where to eat in New York.
Ash Box Cafe
I’ve decided that my last meal on this earth is to be the rice ball onigiri with salted grilled salmon from Ash Box Cafe, a tiny place in Greenpoint, Brooklyn that has the best rice balls in the city. We went there twice a week by car before opening Burrow. It’s my go-to place for a Japanese comfort snack.
This neighborhood Italian restaurant is within walking distance of our flat. We immediately fell in love with it when the waiter welcomed us by saying “Talk to me!” in a heavy Brooklyn accent with emphasis on the T’s rather than simply taking our order. It’s solid Italian cuisine in a homey setting with an old Brooklyn feel to it.
En Japanese Brasserie
I married my husband 12 years ago at this Greenwich Village–based Japanese brasserie, which led to us becoming friends with the owner, Reika, and chef, Hiroki. Their menu has things that you rarely come across in New York like Japanese-sourced beef and rare types of fish, served alongside an extensive selection of sake and shochu. It’s always special going to dinner at the place where we got married.
Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare
This is, in my opinion, the best restaurant in New York. The chef, Cesar Ramirez, uses the finest produce available; much of the seafood is imported from Japan. They serve everything kaiseki, meaning that it’s a lot of small bites spread across many courses. Watching the chef and his cooks prepare the food right in front of you is akin to going to the ballet; everything is planned to the last detail and executed with meticulous attention to each dish.
Whenever friends come to town, we always bring them to Giorgione, an Italian restaurant in SoHo. It’s the quintessential setup with fresh appetizers, thin pizzas and homemade pastas, accompanied by an astounding wine menu and post-dinner spirits including limoncello, sambuca and grappa.
Ayako Kurokawa is chef and co-owner of Brooklyn patisserie Burrow.
68 Jay Street #119
Brooklyn, NY 11201