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Shimizu (清水), Chef Hisao Shimizu in the Washington Jefferson Hotel in Midtown West

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I can't vouch for this place since I've not been there myself, but a sushi chef at a place I enjoyed in Encinitas, CA, recommended Shimizu (318 W 51st St). It's located in the Washington Jefferson hotel, so may be open on a holiday. And, for what it's worth, Shimizu is included on Gayot's 2012 Top 10 NYC Sushi Retaurants.

I will always credit Shimizu with helping me get my head straight when I was preparing to take the bar exam. No better way to calm nerves than a beautiful lunch chirashi presentation. And I try to stop by everytime I'm in the city. I didn't (and don't) know NY dining that well, and pretty much stumbled upon Shimizu by accident, but it's great sushi, 100% japanese staff, cozy and civilized.

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I will probably still visit Shimizu out of some combination of loyalty and muscle-memory when I visit NYC, but I am very glad to have Seki and Daikaya in my hometown.  Shimizu has some wonderful vegetable offerings (watercress in a mustard sauce was delicious) but the chef choice sashimi platter fell a bit short for me.  It was a beautiful arrangement, but served on two pounds of crushed ice that really muted the flavors.  I am quite sure the quality of the fish was excellent, but it seemed to be a triumph of Instagram at the expense of taste.  

Afterwards, I headed across the street to Ippudo Ramen.  Really nice sakes at a reasonable price and a generous pour.  I quite enjoyed my eggplant buns too.  Ramen itself, eh, I feel the broth was a bit weak.  

Will try to head out more in the city to explore new cuisines, the next time.

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