The Meatpacking District gets some fish with Tanuki Tavern, a Japanese sushi/tapas spot opening tonight in the Gansevoort Hotel. I didn't even know the Japanese had tapas, but apparently they do, and it is known in Japan as "Izakaya." Izakaya roughly translates to: "a Japanese drinking establishment which also serves food to accompany the drinks." What an original concept. Still, from reading the menu, the food sounds quite different, not to mention tasty. Blue crab pizza? Sweet corn and white miso tempura cakes? Chicken meatballs in a rice crust with ponzu sauce? YUM. They also have a traditional sushi bar, albeit with non-traditional rolls like the Surf & Turf Roll: Poached Maine lobster wrapped in Wagyu beef carpaccio, and the Yellow Jacket Roll: Hamachi and jalapenos wrapped in yellow soy & nori with blue crab salad. Will that even fit into a sushi roll?? I don't know but I'd be more than willing to find out. They even have Hibachi! Move over Beni Hana, you've got competition.
Let's not forget, they are a "drinking establishment" (amen), so they have an extensive list of specialty cocktails, hard to find sakes, and a slew of craft beers to choose from. You gotta wash down that Fried poussin chicken with Thai chili honey with SOMETHING. Why not a Pom Poko? Patron tequila muddled with strawberries and house made honey-ginger syrup. Or a Kyuri Sunset? Belvedere Vodka muddled with cucumber, orange & cranberry juices, and sparkling sake float. Jesus. I hope they have plenty of staff on-hand to carry out all the 80-lb models and the entire cast of The City. Still, I'm excited to try this place. Even if I can't pronounce 78% of the menu.
Tanuki Tavern is open for dinner from 6pm- 12am Mon-Sat, and 6pm – 11pm Sun.
Tanuki Tavern @ The Gansevoort
18 Ninth Avenue @ 13th Street
For reservations, call 212-660-6766.