I started with the Maguro sashimi and goat cheese which includes big eye tuna, pumpkin seed oil and Fuji apple. This is a favorite dish that I have ordered over the years and I never tire of it. Also found on Uchi's menu, it is an unexpected combination that works. I also had the Kinoko oranji chanterelle mushrooms with nectarine, hen of the woods mushrooms and coconut. A delicate dish that had all of the earthy goodness of the mushrooms paired with the sweetness of the nectarines and coconut. Once our server learned of my penchant for mushrooms, he surprised us with Saishoku shugi seasonal mushroom, ten tsuyu and tofu (a complimentary item) brought in a hot clay dish. This shared dish was robust and very filling with the egg adding a higher level of satisfaction. My son ordered the Hot Rock “sear it yourself” wagyu beef over Japanese river rock. The thinly sliced beef is cooked on the piping hot river rocks and then coated in a dipping sauce. A very fun starter. My other son had the Gyutoro nigiri which is wagyu beef belly. This was an amazing dish, probably one of the finest of the evening. I stole one bite and marveled at the flavors--complex, rich and satisfying. We also had various pieces of sushi (sake and negi dare) and rolls (like the Shag Roll), which all tasted fresh and well prepared, but the items we tried from the hot and cold tastings section of the menu, as well as the yakimono, captured our attention the most.
Our server, Steven, recommended we try the Tobacco Cream Chocolate Sorbet with maple budino, huckleberry and scotch for dessert. In the past I have not really been a big fan of the dessert menu at Uchiko, but this item changed my mind. This was literally the best dessert I have ever had there. It was inventive with unusual layers of flavor that were wonderful together. The hints of tobacco and scotch are present without overwhelming the chocolate. We also had the Aerated Chocolate Gelato with strawberry, miso and yogurt which was very good, but paled next to the tobacco cream.
The food is, of course, instrumental in keeping Uchiko's reputation at such a high level, but the service deserves credit as well. The service is so attentive and welcoming. Our server went above and beyond, even discounting the desserts because we were celebrating a birthday. The staff works so well as a team and their attention to detail is awe inspiring. Everyone we encountered was both knowledgeable and gracious. Now that Uchiko is in our neighborhood, I look forward to returning for the next family celebration, or even just to check out their daily happy hour. (Cathy)