Every week, I document another dish that impressed and satiated me during my food adventures around New York City

When asked where I want to go for my birthday, it’s an impossible decision to make. So many places to try. But generally, I crave Japanese food and since Mifune was in the press as a hot new opening from a Michelin-starred Japanese chef, it made sense to try it out.

I have to admit it was a bit hit and miss. They are brand new so perhaps they are still getting their footing. The service, for instance, was incredibly strange. Everybody was very pleasant but nobody seemed to know anything about the specifics of the menu or how to properly serve dishes. If you’re paying this kind of money, you do want some semblance of high quality service to go with it.

Of course, if the food shines, I could overlook weird service. And I was treated to the tasting menu to get a little bit of everything. I found some of the dishes rather uninspired and flat. But others were really tasty and unique. I thought about including the tasting menu’s grand finale of foie gras rice with an inventive saboyan foam as the dish of the week. But in the end it was something else that stuck with me a week later.

It was a twist on a miso black cod. The now-legendary cod presentation is ubiquitous at fancy Japanese restaurants. Here, they mellowed the miso and played up a surprising addition of paremsan foam.

The delicate foam added an extra richness to the buttery fish and it was all rounded out by some crisp seasonal vegetables – in this case ribbons of green and yellow squash.

Not all birthday dinners will be home runs, but it’s always great discovering a new place and sharing it with loved ones. And even though the service was a bit inept, they did remember to put a candle in my dessert. But thankfully they did not sing Happy Birthday. Price: $30 or part of $125 tasting menu

MIFUNE
245 East 44th Street (between Third and Second Avenue),
Midtown East
(212) 986-2800
mifune-restaurant.com
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About the Author

Brian Hoffman is a classically trained actor who is now a full-time tour guide, blogger, and food obsessive. He leads food and drink tours around New York City, which not only introduce tour-goers to delicious food, but gives them a historical context. He also writes food articles for Gothamist and Midtown Lunch in addition to overseeing this blog and a few food video series, including Eat This, Locals Know, and Around the World in One City.

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