REVIEW

Megu

It is hard not to be immediately overwhelmed upon entering Megu New York (in TriBeCa) by the staggering scale and ambition of the design:  the two-tiered, 13,000 square feet space by Yasumichi Morita of Japan's Glamorous Co. seamlessly blends ultra-modern and traditional Japanese elements.  The dramatically-lit space is sexy and sophisticated.  The upper walls overlooking the main dining room are blanketed in white porcelain columns made of over 5000 interlocking rice bowls and sake vases.  Suspended from the ceiling in the center of the room is an 800 pound bonsho, or temple bell.  Each day, a 370 pound Buddha ice sculpture is carved and displayed below it.  The result is an awe-inspiring equilibrium of serenity and pulse that few trendy restaurants successfully contrive to fashion. 

It would be natural under the circumstances to assume that the food was merely passable. This is not the case, however; Megu's ingredient-driven, modern Japanese cuisine is among the very best in NYC.  The highlights of the sprawling menu tend to involve Kobe beef cooked over binch?-tan charcoal, the famed choice of yakitori masters that burns at a lower temperature and for a longer period of time than ordinary charcoal.  There is also a selection of sushi and sashimi and hot and cold appetizers, which the highly-knowledgeable servers can deftly guide you through. 

A more intimate Megu outpost was subsequently opened in the Trump World Tower in Midtown, with similarly dramatic interiors and high-quality cuisine.  But in our view the design in Midtown is less successful (e.g., tiger murals) and the TriBeCa location remains the best place to experience Megu's sensual beauty and grandeur.  

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INFORMATION

TriBeCa
62 Thomas St.
New York (nr. West Broadway)
212-964-7777
Sun-Wed, 5:30pm-11pm; Thu-Sat, 5:30pm-midnight
    Midtown East
    Trump World Tower
    845 United Nations Plz (at 47th St)
    (212) 964-7777
    Mon-Wed, 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-10:30pm; Thurs-Fri, 11:30am-2:30pm, 5:30pm-11pm; Sat, 5:30pm-11pm
      Koji Imai, Chef

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