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

When people ask me what’s my favorite restaurant in the city, I laugh and roll my eyes responding about how impossible that is to choose. But the truth is I probably should tell them Kyo Ya.

It’s such a humble, under-the-radar place that even I forget about it sometimes. I’ve had my birthday dinner there twice and been by for a few other special meals. For those that don’t know, it’s a Michelin-starred Japanese restaurant with both an a la carte menu and a seasonal tasting kaiseki. The delicacy and inventiveness here often backs up my statement that Japanese food is my favorite cuisine.

Two years ago, the Kyo Ya team opened a slightly less fancy restaurant a few blocks away and called it Autre Kyo Ya (which means “Other Kyo Ya” in French). And here the food is advertised as a fusion between Japanese favors and French cooking techniques.

It took long enough but I finally got to sit at the bar and try some of the exciting small plates at the newer location. I just wish I had come here months ago so I could have eaten my way through the menu by now.

What I did try for my first visit included a refreshing and light sea urchin consommé dotted with nuggets of uni with a cauliflower puree base and some meaty butter baked mushrooms served in the parchment paper.

The standout for me was a beautifully composed octopus dish. Not only did it look stunning, but the flavors were unique deep and distinct. The tender slices of tentacles had been smoked and grilled giving it both a crisp texture and an unmistakable meaty smoke flavor. Its accompaniments were also stellar – earthy celery root puree and a buttery foam-like smoked soy sauce.

I definitely plan to return to this other Kyo Ya (it helps that prices are a bit easier here) to try some other dishes. And if it remains as consistent and delicious as its predecessor, I may have one more answer to that never-ending question about the best place to eat in NYC. Price: $14

AUTRE KYO YA
10 Stuyvesant Street (between Third Avenue and East 9th Street),
East Village
(212) 598-0454
autrekyoya.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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