* Click here for rating key
moto-i Restaurant Review: Blake Richardson is obsessed with all things Japanese. When a storefront three doors down from the Herkimer---his Lyn-Lake brewpub---became available, he jumped at the opportunity to open the city's first saké brewpub. After extensive training in Japan, and following a top-to-bottom makeover of a former South American eatery, moto-i (Japanese for "yeast starter") was born. The kitchen turns out a laundry list of Japanese-inspired small plates that range from savory steamed buns and dumplings to a wide variety of rice and noodle dishes aimed at vegetarian and meat-eating diners alike. There's also a flurry of little bar snacks, including dried squid with zesty wasabi mayonnaise, Thai chile-dusted roasted peanuts and crisp shoestring-cut taro root munchies. Richardson's unpasteurized saké is served in flights or single servings, and there's a decent beer list as well. The setting is dark and moody, with the exception of the cool, open-air rooftop patio.