Ichimura at Brushstroke
photo by Jen Munkvold
Sushi was part of the plan for Brushstroke from its 2012 inception — but David Bouley and Japanese culinary school The Tsuji Culinary Institute, the partners in this Tribeca kaiseki restaurant, were willing to delay in order to find the perfect chef. Enter Eiji Ichimura, a Tokyo-trained sushi master, whose Midtown concept Restaurant Ichimura closed in 2008. Ichimura spent more than four decades perfecting the art of traditional edo-mae sushi, which calls for a deep understanding of aging, curing, and marinating fish; he showcases this practice at Ichimura at Brushstroke six nights a week through an omakase menu, humbly introducing creations to each of eight diners who have done the legwork to score a seat. “It’s a very small fish, but a very special fish,” he says modestly of a buttery introduction to Japanese perch before returning to his next course. You’ll swim in dozens of offerings like that, crafted with swift and nimble hands, until you reach the finale, warm oval beds of rice bearing lush Santa Barbara and sweet Hokkaido sea urchin, when you’ll wish you could begin again.