Bizen is one of my favorite Japanese restaurants. I’ve loved everything I’ve ever eaten there. Bizen is in Great Barrington in the Berkshires—where my family used to ski—and around the corner is the cutest candy store ever, home of the chocolate covered gummy bears, something I need for survival.
The chef at Bizen went to Japan to study Wabi Sabi, a pottery style focused on being unsymmetrical. He also learned how to make sushi and came back to open a restaurant. He makes some of the serving dishes for the restaurant (which are beautiful) and invented the wackiest and most delicious rolls that I dream about. My brother and I begged our parents to bring us skiing at Butternut, but really it was an excuse for Bizen.
When we went this time, we went with my brother’s friend and his family. Our mom had made a reservation and nabbed one of the cool shoe-less tables where you sit on cushions. There are a lot of sections to the menu and even if you’re not a huge sushi person (whattttt?!) there are tons of things to eat. But…if you are like me and can pack away a truckload of sushi, I’d go for the roll menu (it has its own special section).
They aren’t purist sushi rolls. They have fun names and are jam-packed with interesting combinations that might even seem doubtful, but I promise they are all surprising and unbelievably delicious. One pun, almost as much as a stretch as the name of this blog is the “Sex in the Sushi” roll. My favorite, the “Silence of the Yams,” is a fat roll with sweet potato tempura and coconut. I usually hate coconut, but this roll is balanced with cucumber and it’s one of the most delicious things I’ve eaten. I dreamt about eating it yesterday. I’m serious.
One thing I’ve heard over my sushi guzzling years (my friend Juliet just pointed out that 30% of my noshtomeetyou Instagram feed is sushi) is that a sushi chef is to be judged by his or her Tamago, a fluffy, sweet piece of layered egg crepes served like a regular piece of sushi. Well I would like to say that the Tamago at Bizen, a small Japanese restaurant in the Berkshires, is the best Tamago I’ve found on the East Coast.
Now I need to figure out when I can go back because writing this is making my mouth water.