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Omakase from team Blue Ribbon, facials, Hudson Square, more
RESTAURANTS • First Word
Ueki: 12 seats of Blue Ribbon hospitality
The Skinny: Thirty years after Bruce and Eric Bromberg brought fish in rice to New York at Blue Ribbon Sushi, they’ve opened this shoebox of a West Village omakase named after Blue Ribbon’s founding chef, Toshi Ueki. It’s not the most advanced sushi in the city, but true to its lineage, delivers an amiable experience at a good price.
The Vibe: No need to mind your manners. The chef, Fukuoka-born Kazutaka Iimori, who worked at beloved Ushiwakamaru and various New York editions of Nobu, likes to have fun and crack jokes. The space is small and cramped — with 12 seats, including a central eight-seat dining counter — same as it was in its past life as Blue Ribbon Downing Street Bar (RIP), but with softer lines (and seats).
The Style: Ueki bills itself as “deeply rooted in Japanese tradition,” but the edamame starter and caviar and gold leaf accents beg to differ. Still, the otsumami (small appetizers) and nigiri are well-made and built with mostly Japanese seafood.
The Lineup: Expect six otsumami followed by 10 nigiri, then tamago, spotted prawn miso soup, and a slice of Japanese melon. Signature bite: Oshizushi, a style of pressed sushi, here topped with herring from Hokkaido.
The Verdict: Charming spot for user-friendly omakase.
FROM THE FIELD: Our fine dining correspondent checks in on the $125 pasta tasting at Al Coro (Chelsea), which chef Melissa Rodriguez added last month: “It spans five courses including the first course, culurgiones (above), large dumpling-like pasta filled with Yukon gold potato, mascarpone and fontina cheese surrounded by a pool of lemon butter and herbs and a dollop of golden Ossetra caviar. An excellent excuse to sit at the bar.”
NYC RESTAURANT LINKS: A history of the bars at First and 1st, as new Mexican-American cocktail haven Superbueno opens there • What food to seek out at the new Pier 57 (Chelsea) • Minor tragedies of the steakhouse variety: ping pong chain SPiN is taking over the former Bobby Van’s space in Fidi.
GOODS & SERVICES • The Nines
Crystal Greene Studio (Soho), $425, Vitality x LYMA Laser
Sofie Pavitt (Chinatown/LES), $250, Laser Rejuvenation Facial
Rescue Spa (Flatiron), $350, Fix-It-All Facial
SHEN Beauty (Brooklyn Heights), $500, Microneedling Facial
Tribeca Skin Center (Tribeca), call for pricing, Clear & Brilliant Laser
Casa Bobé (Carroll Gardens), $350, The Glow Of The Stars treatment
Joanna Czech (Soho), $1250, Ultimate Facial with Joanna
Amity Murray at Nest Wellness (Chelsea), $425, TLC Time
Shibui Spa at the Greenwich Hotel (Tribeca, above), $395, Diamond Glow Facial
We’re building our facials onesheet. Have feedback on this list? Hit reply or email email@example.com.
WORK • Tuesday Routine
Lauren Goldberg, CEO, Suzie Kondi
Work Neighborhood: Soho
Site: Suzie Kondi
It’s Tuesday morning, where are you working?
Tuesday typically starts with an early morning Amtrak from Rhinecliff to the city. I work from home three days and commute to the city for two days (one night) per week. I get the work day started en route but avoid calls on the train to spare the other riders.
What’s the Tuesday morning scene at your workplace?
I get to the office mid-morning and usually dive into design development strategy with Suzie and the design team. We’re planning the spring-summer ‘24 collection even though SS23 is still shipping and we’re submitting our production orders for fall ‘23. Our heads are always in multiple seasons at once. Fittings and ECOMM photo shoots are often in the mix (above).
What’s on the agenda for today?
I’m finalizing production plans for a special swimwear collab launching this summer. I’ll also be working refining our marketing plans for the coming weeks. I tend to save my finance and operations responsibilities for when I WFH.
What’s for lunch?
Almost always it’s the shrimp and avocado salad from Ruby’s and not just because I work for an Aussie. To me, it’s a perfect salad and I take salad seriously. Second choice is tofu and spaghetti squash from Jack’s Wife Freda, which Suzie recommended. It’s surprisingly delicious.
Any plans tonight?
Heading to Casa Cipriani for dinner with friends. I’ve only been for drinks so am excited to dine. I’ve heard the lemon meringue cake is amazing.
WORK • Neighborhood Report
Hudson Square HQ²
In contrast to the spiraling despair of Hudson Yards, Hudson Square is ascendant. Two shiny new office headquarters — for Google and Disney — are nearing completion, promising an influx of workers into a neighborhood that established itself as a Manhattan office go-to long before Hudson Yards was a gleam in the eye.
Google’s new HQ, in the former St. John’s Terminal at 550 Washington, is further along, just weeks from completion. It’s an ambitious space designed by Cookfox (rendering above) and covers two blocks by the river. Three blocks east and one south, the terracotta facade is up at Disney’s 22-story, SOM-designed, 4 Hudson Square (aka 137 Varick). When both new headquarters are occupied, they will move the downtown center of gravity a little further west.
It’s not all offices. In between and around, there’s green space, bike paths, new residential development, and (for when the progress is enough) the Ear Inn, now and forever.
NYC WORK LINKS: First lux hotel planned for 10 vacant floors at Rockefeller Center • Lerer Hippeau leads $5.6m series B in hydration company Cure • Indie coffee shop software provider Odeko raises $53 series D • Ticket marketplace SeatGeek reportedly files to go public • NYU buys Noho office building for $98m • 13k SF for tech recruiter Levin at 1 WTC • Media company PEI takes 14,341 SF at 530 5th Ave.
GOODS & SERVICES • FOUND Object
→ Shop: Adina Reyter, $1098.
GOODS & SERVICES LINKS: Inside Tiffany’s remodeled flagship on 57th: ‘the renovation of the century’ and ‘the Landmark is now the lighthouse of the brand’ • New from Bilt: 5x rewards at restaurants • The design world’s new favorite chair Is now available in North America • Brooks Reitz’s under-the-radar shopping in the East Village • Rugs so good you won’t want to walk on them.
The aesthetician of choice
Q: Where can I get a great facial in NYC these days?
A: See Facials Nines, above, with thanks for your feedback. Bonus color from a FOUND subscriber: “With her signature LED facials and ‘slapping massages,’ Joanna Czech is the aesthetician of choice for every celeb you can think of (she sets up camp in LA during Oscars week and in NY for the Met Gala). She still always has time and energy for regular long-time clients like myself — been seeing her for a dozen years.”
PROMPTS, one new, two for which we continue to seek intel:
I need a new statement work bag. Where can I shop for one IRL?
Where does one find the best mezcal Negroni poured over a big rock ice cube in NYC?
What are the new-ish Peking duck places? We've always been partial to Peking Duck House but are looking for new recommendations.
Got an answer (or question)? Hit reply or email firstname.lastname@example.org.