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241 Church St. (Leonard St.) Send to Phone
Jean-Georges and soba noodles collide in TriBeCa.
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Local Deals: 120 * 90

Lunch & Dinner daily
  • Dress code: Dressy
  • Full bar
  • Reservations suggested

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Dining room at THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED Matsugen, New York, NY

THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED Matsugen Restaurant Review

: Jean-Georges Vongerichten's affection for the Far East somehow shows up in all of his restaurants by way of carved teak furniture or exotic spices. Now, in teaming up with the Matsushita brothers, who run the well-known chain of Matsugen restaurants in Japan, JGV pioneers "soba cuisine" in TriBeCa. This time, though, the master chef leaves the cooking to the originators, so that every detail in the New York re-creation stays painstakingly true to its Japanese roots. The vast room is intimately compartmentalized, bento box-style. The homemade tofu, served cold and dressed in soy dashi, refreshes with a creamy texture that causes diners to swear off supermarket blocks for good. Expertly executed vegetable tempura---light, crispy, without a trace of errant oil---highlight seasonal delights such as the pleasantly mellow zucchini flowers and sweet baby corn. But the real draw here are the three specialty varieties of soba: Rin (ground with no husk), Seiro (medium husk), and the husk-heavy Inaka. The smooth Seiro stands out: served cool, it mingles blissfully with a hot, rich duck soup for dipping. The $48 otoro tataki brings the only disappointment, however, with an unpleasantly fishy aftertaste that doesn't live up to the price tag's promise. Nevertheless, the otherwise exquisite fish comes from Tokyo's Tsukiji market, the dinnerware from the city's Kappabashi district, and the know-how from characteristic Japanese attention to detail.

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