15 East

photo by Robert Menzer

Tocqueville’s Marco Moreira and Jo-Ann Makovitzky erected this sushi palace in 2006, poaching seafood master Masato Shimizu from Jack and Grace Lamb’s Jewel Bako, where he’d gained a following for his dazzling omakase meals and boundary-pushing practice of serving lobster sashimi in the shell of the crustacean he’d just eviscerated — while the crustacean was still moving. That dare-worthy meal has made the trip uptown, along with an expanded menu that places the austere 15 East — with a bright, spare sushi bar contrasted by a dining room done up in muted tones — firmly in the company of the city’s finest sushi restaurants. Shimizu’s sushi is delicate and slender, the slips of fish draped over sturdy fingers of rice and a thin yet bracing layer of freshly ground wasabi. Many of the restaurant’s cooked dishes provide enough of a reason for the maritime-averse to set foot inside, including a decadent foie gras chawanmushi: a humble, homey egg custard given the VIP treatment with Périgord truffles, duck liver, and soft gingko nuts.