Dinner last night at Two Steak & Sushi Den, where they know me and what I do. The restaurant, open less than a week, was not even half full, and we requested a leisurely paced meal. All that said, food and service were both top notch.
We sat in a booth in the sushi-yakitori bar, which is situated in between the lounge and “café” dining room, and from which you can see the whole restaurant except for the formal dining room. Chef James McDevitt's menu is a huge, multipart affair, with sections devoted to yakitori, classic sushi, Japanese-inspired small plates, “regular appetizers,” salads, steaks, non-steak entrees, side dishes and desserts. Phew!
Yakitori—skewered, grilled meat tidbits—is a specialty, and we started out with Kurobuta (Japanese Berkshire) pork belly interspersed with scallions, chicken “oysters” (those two prized morsels that flank the backbone), and something called “soft bone” which turned out to be grilled cartilage and was more of an education in Japanese culinary culture than an experience to be repeated. Yakitori selections are small, and are priced between $2 and $4.
From the sushi menu: barely seared toro sushi with a spicy miso, and a “small plate” of yellowtail sashimi with jalapeño, cilantro, yuzu soy and garlic puree served with a tangle of microgreens and seaweed. All the first courses—sushi, appetizers, salads—range between $10 and $18.
With the exception of an $18 burger, main courses run from $27 to $46. Most of Two’s beef comes from Meyer Ranch in Montana and our dry-aged bone-in porterhouse was delicious and perfectly cooked. Our Maine diver scallops could have been plated by Cezanne, and everything—the seared scallops, the squash puree, the trumpet mushrooms, the carefully poached baby carrots, Japanese turnips and purple salsify—was flawless.
For dessert, we availed ourselves of the tableside ice-cream service. Our waiter added liquid nitrogen (held in a special tank at minus 320 degrees Fahrenheit) to the vanilla-bean base and, after a few turns in the mixing bowl, we had ice cream. Delicious, creamy ice cream at that, topped with our choice of crushed homemade oreos, Marcona almonds, peanut-pumpkin-seed praline, homemade chocolate sauce, etc., etc. you get the idea.
Two is off to a very promising start. Look back here in about a month to see how many stars Newsday critic Peter M. Gianotti awards the restaurant.
Two Steak & Sushi Den is located at 1270 Union Tpke., New Hyde Park, 516-358-2222.
We sat in one of these booths. Newsday photo / Erica Marcus