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Miraku in Great Neck: This is why we love sushi

Chirashi, raw fish over seasoned rice, is a

Chirashi, raw fish over seasoned rice, is a thing of beauty at Miraku in Great Neck. (Jan. 12, 2012) Photo Credit: Newsday/Erica Marcus

Sushi’s ubiquity over the past 15 years has been, on the whole, a good development for Long Island: You’re never more than a few miles from a decent sushi bar. The downside is that all that decent sushi can make you forget how spectacular sushi can be when it's made from hopping fresh fish and put together with real artistry.

Which brings me to Miraku in Great Neck. I’d been to this new Japanese restaurant (highly praised in Peter Gianotti’s 2½-star review and named No. 8  on his Top 11 of 2011 list) but had not, before last night, sat at the sushi bar. When I received my chirashi — slices of raw fish over seasoned rice — I was reminded of why I love this dish so much.

Every bite was something special, and nothing was too cold. The shrimp was tender and actually tasted like shrimp; the tamgo (omelet) was firm and savory-sweet; one of the two pieces of salmon, rich in color and flavor, was actually wild; the tuna was free from tough fibers. When I was finished with my fish, there were two shiso leaves left on the perfectly seasoned rice, but none of the shredded spicy tuna mush, carrot,  mesclun (or worse) that has mucked up so much chirashi of my recent acquaintance.

Miraku is at 31 S. Middle Neck Rd., Great Neck, 516-466-6369.

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