Blue Ribbon: A Hidden Gem In The Lower East Side
The Lower East Side is a neighborhood in the southeastern part of Manhattan. It doesn't quite resemble the glitz and glamour of New York City. Actually, it's in the process of being gentrified so it looks like New York City in the making. Its rough edges, ecletic culture, and growing region may not be the New York City that you imagined, but it has some hidden treats that you don't want to miss.
I went to the Lower East Side for the first time last month. I must admit, It was a huge contrast to the Upper East Side. The mood seemed a little dark. The crowds, lights, and colors of what we typically consider New York City were a memory a few blocks away. My husband and I stayed at Sixty Les (the review can be found in our hotel section), and I was thrilled to find out that there was a highly rated restaurant right upstairs named "Blue Ribbon."
Blue Ribbon is a Japanese Sushi Bar that offers a fine dining experience in the coolest way possible. The lights are dim throughout the restaurant and the main lighting is focused on the kitchen. The kitchen is the prime focus of the restaurant and acts like the stage of theatre. Upon entering the restaurant, the staff shout out a greeting in Japanese to welcome all of their guests. The crowd reminds me of what I have always seen in sophisticated New York restaurants on television. There were so many different types of people enjoying the company of friends. There was a buzz of chatter in the air and it almost consumed me. It made me curious about the New York City lifestyle. What was Blue Ribbon? And why did all these people show up on a Wednesday night to eat here? Is this what "they do?" Is this the "place to be?" How did they know about this restaurant in our hotel? So many questions crossed my mind. However, I definitely knew that I was ready to have the Blue Ribbon experience.
The menu had something for everyone. If you're a vegetarian, pescatarian, sushi lover, or all about the meats.....you'll find something that you love! For our appetizers, we were blown away by the sushi rolls. They are made fresh to order and they made us close our eyes with each bite. You have to try the shrimp tempura! We actually each ordered a sushi platter and we ended up ordering another sushi plate because we couldn't get enough! My husband and I ordered fish for our main entree. He had the Ginadara Saikyoyaki (miso marinated black cod) and I had the Salmon Teriyaki. The cod was okay, but the salmon was done perfectly. I would definitely say that it was one of the best tasting Japanese inspired fish dishes that I have had in my life!
For dessert, we went all in! Since dinner was so great, we couldn't wait to taste the finale. Anything with green tea will be fabulous. Trust me! I'm not even a green tea fan, but the green tea creme brulee and the green tea in the banana boat treat are all fantastic!
Extra information: Blue Ribbon has a private room for small parties
Would I recommend it: Absolutely! It was definitely the icing on the cake during our trip to New York. I can't wait to try their South Beach location!