MICHELIN Guide’s Point Of View
Tucked below Masa Takayama’s TriBeCa robatayaki, Tetsu Basement exudes that cherished clandestine vibe, but rest assured, as this sexy hot spot is no secret. From his popular offering upstairs to his heavily lauded fine dining sushi temple in the Time Warner Center, you can’t keep a lid on Masa's enormous talent. And so it goes with his latest offering, which aims to bring his singular dedication to purity and unparalleled quality to a meat-focused kaiseki menu. The restaurant—a dark, masculine lair filled with wrought-iron, exposed brick and a 22-foot-long African Bubinga wood countertop—is brimming with intimacy and date-night possibility. The chef himself is often on hand, bantering with guests or jumping behind the grill to fashion a dish just so. Plates are modest yet exquisite, with top sourcing rendering complicated recipes unnecessary. Tender venison tenderloin is simply paired with dashi, cilantro oil and toasted rice powder; just as a plump scallop, scored precisely, is sizzled on the teppanyaki grill to caramelized excellence. A pristine cut of Ohmi beef is then perfectly seared, topped with salt, and presented with a dab of wasabi and garlic paste for a luxurious finale.