It was an auspicious first visit to Sushi Republic in New Hyde Park, an Asian fusion restaurant that recently took over the former digs of Ara Sushi & Grill. The sprawling space has been made more intimate by pretty wood framing, which offers the illusion of dining nooks. There are also several private party spaces.
Dinner kicked off with a full-bodied hot and sour soup ($4). A shared Jalapeño Yummy roll ($12) featuring peppered tuna and yellowtail delivered with an eye-opening jolt of citrus. Then came a sashimi deluxe platter ($18), which presented a fresh and colorful array of raw finfish.
A lobster special ($9.95) was available salt-and-pepper-style or with ginger and scallion, my choice. Messy eating, but very good — and a real bargain. That special is part of a “grand opening” deal that runs through Oct. 31. Concurrently, you can also get a free “classic” roll if you spend $15 or more; a free signature roll if your tab exceeds $30.
Sushi Republic is at 3365 Hillside Ave., New Hyde Park, 516-747-3377.