If temaki is still as foreign to you as Tokyo, read on. We tell you all about raw fish and rolls, seaweed and sashimi — everything you need to know to become a sushi sophisticate
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A plethora of vegetarian options, like these asparagus rolls, make sure there is something for everyone
Idesako created Amici’s menu with both presentation and flavor in mind; choices include a wide variety of fresh fish nigiri and sashimi, shumai appetizers, and mixed seaweed salad. His most requested items are his specialty rolls: from vegetarian to shrimp tempura to his signature “Rock and Roll” (a mixture of tuna, yellowtail, and salmon topped with avocado slices and caviar). “People order a lot of the rolls because they’re familiar with them,” he says. “They also like to try the new versions that I come up with; I’m always trying create new varieties.”
One sushi aficionado from New Paltz, on her first visit to Amici in January, had nothing but praise for the food. “There was no sliminess to the fish whatsoever,” she remarked. “For the first time ever, I could distinguish the individual flavor of each fish; it was so pure.” She went on to rave about the Rock and Roll and the oversized Veggie Delight Roll: “It was huge. I mean huge. It has avocado and cucumber and asparagus, but it also has this amazing cooked squash.”
A more adventurous favorite is the Omekase, or “chef’s choice,” dinner. Idesako chooses a full five- or six-course dinner, served only at the sushi bar. “I will select the freshest choices and best combinations for these dinners,” he says. “It’s always nice to surprise people and let them try new things.” Easing into new territory is something that the chef wants to help the locals to do. Valleyites are much less adventurous, Idesako says, than the Manhattan crowd, who will go so far as to try “live” sushi dishes (think wiggly octopus and shellfish on your plate), which were his specialty at Satsuma-Ya. “People in the city like to try new things and tend to be more picky about how their sushi tastes,” he says.
Amici’s über-fresh offerings: Salmon sashimi (top); Crunchy rolls (above) combine shrimp tempura and avocado
While there are no live sushi dishes at Amici, Idesako ensures that the fish he serves is spanking fresh by trekking to a Bronx fish market twice a week to handpick his favorite pieces. “I can tell which are the best fish by the color, texture, odor, and appearance of the eyes,” he says. “They have a wider variety than you can find locally, and I can select only the best.” Idesako asserts that the best-tasting fish is aged three to four days after catching, and has no fishy odor. “You sometimes hear people saying that they caught a fish and ate it right there on the boat, and that was the best fish they ever tasted,” Idesako laughs. “They’re wrong!”
Amici Sushi is open for lunch and dinner Wednesday through Sunday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m. The sushi bar is actually located in the Chefs on Fire bistro, which is in the wine cellar of the DePuy Canal House. It seats up to 45 people and Italian, Japanese, and some Mexican food is served there a la carte. You can also order sushi in the upstairs dining room. Amici also offers off-site party catering and takeout.
1315 Rte. 213, High Falls
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