A wildly anticipated follow-up to Williamsburg’s Maison Premiere, Greenpoint’s Sauvage is one of the most celebrated newcomers of the season. Yet Amami (also a Williamsburg offshoot) occupies the same prime parcel of real estate–that would be Nassau Street, directly across from McCarren Park–and shares largely the same focus: seafood. Although instead of clam and leek terrine and squid garganelli, the Ako Sushi spin-off specializes in Japanese sliced fish, such as kampachi sashimi and layered mosaics of chirashi, prepared by chef and owner Nick Wang.
So if crowds prove prohibitive next door, there’s no forfeiture in snagging a stool along Amami’s high sushi bar instead, or usurping a communal table near a cantilevered set of floor to ceiling windows. Because even though the menu zags all over the map (encompassing izakaya-style bites like pork buns, yakitori items such as chicken gizzards, main courses including dry-aged rib-eye steak and even a selection of ramen) Wang maintains a staunch commitment to quality and admirable attention to detail, down to freshly grated wasabi and soy sauce fermented in house.
The caliber of fish certainly speaks for itself–from rose-tinted slips of seabream to buttery blocks of otoro, portioned into austere rectangles of sashimi or tight, rice-padded coils. Wang lets loose when it comes to signature rolls, though, festooned like floats at a Carnival parade–angled on martini glasses bolstered with sprays of baby’s breath, or assembled on platters and decorative, rough-hewn boards, shimmering with a judicious application of day-glo roe. He maintains that sense of whimsy with another surprise element: brunch, besting tired standbys like benedict and pancakes with seafood okonomiyaki, spicy tuna tekka don and organic azuki bean waffles.
Forget Sauvage; it looks like Amami is making an all-day play for the weekend hordes at Five Leaves.
57 Nassau Ave., (917) 909-1568
Photos courtesy of Amami website