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Neta

Pia Mileaf-Patel

See http://www.netanyc.com/ for pricing, it varies by what you order.

Alright, this one might be short because I saved like a month’s worth of homework for today. But, of course I’d much rather be writing about food, so here it goes.

            For my birthday, my family took me to Neta, a modern sushi restaurant on Eighth Street. The long, thin room had a cool, businesslike atmosphere that, being a teen girl, I’m not that familiar with. However, despite the grey décor, I felt welcomed into a sort of secret seeming place.

            It’s good, turning fifteen. No matter how grown up you felt before, going out late, wearing high heels, or eating at fancy restaurants with your parents, now you’ve tasted High School, and everything it brings to the table.

            From Neta’s menu, we decided to pick our own dishes and ordered a mixture of small plates and sushi, for the table to share. You can kind of navigate the menu any way you want, either ordering an Omakase (the chef sends a series of dishes to the table for you), or you can get all sushi, or you can order individually, but as a family, we figured that we all wanted to try as many things as possible, and share them. However, there were a couple things that we just couldn’t resist getting doubles of.

            For example, I think we ordered three tempura dishes... There was a fried butterfish special, a mixed vegetable, and a shrimp tempura option on the menu. We started with one of the butterfish and one of the vegetables, but they were so addictive (not too greasy yet still fried to crunchy perfection) that we ordered another of the butterfish and devoured it. Also, definitely order the Spicy Szechuan Salmon or the Duck Rice. They are both beautifully cooked and spiced fish/meats, on top of a crispy rice square, and topped with bonito flakes and/or matchstick vegetables. It’s strange; I’ve recently noticed bonito flakes on a lot of menus at Japanese restaurants. I never would have thought it, but it adds a nice texture and subtle flavor to the food.

            My grandma picked out a dish, which was basically duck and foie gras (liver) with scallions and hoisin sauce, inside of a hollowed out cucumber. I personally am not a liver fan, so the liver in the name (Duck & Foie) intimidated me, however with persuasion, I tried it, and couldn’t believe how perfect it was.

            One of the things about the menu and the food at Neta was that I trusted it. For example, the liver wasn’t too livery, or they didn’t bring anything scary to the table, yet still kept the dishes sophisticated and exciting.

            My favorite thing was absolutely this pan cooked lobster dish, with beautifully matched vegetables, in a light, buttery, salty sauce. It’s killing me because it was a special dish, and I can’t find it on the online menu (ARRGGHHH), but I’m just glad I tried it. I guess the lesson here is to try some of the specials of the particular night you go, because I’m sure they will be fantastic (and remember what they are too)!

            The sushi part of the meal was perfect. It ranged from classic fishes, like tuna and salmon roe to interesting combinations, like yellowtail topped with crispy sweet potato, a combination that if you like sushi, I’m demanding you try some time. However a warning: if you don’t like wasabi, tell them, because they put on a generous amount. The fish was light and it was at the perfect temperature, balanced between cold and room temperature, which is hard to nail. My dinner at Neta was beautiful, and it was the cherry on top of my birthday.

xxo

Pia