Friday, April 5, 2024

Silvers Gets the Gold

Welcome to a post more of photos--all mine from my iPhone so not superior quality, sorry--than words, but I wanted to be sure to attest to the greatness that is Silvers Omakase. I had a terrific talk with Lennon Silvers Lee about the spot that the Indy ran, but now have had the chance to indulge, and it is a magnificent indulgence, one bite at a time. The beauty of it is you have to slow down, you must consider, you must be as intentional and present as Lee and his team with their precise slices, wordless interplay getting out course after course, light passes of brushes to add minute yet powerful dashes of shoyu or homemade elixirs, the arrangement of flowering, flavorful accouterment without any fussy tweezer action. And the joy of some between course shimmying to the well-chosen, properly-volumed jazz soundtrack. 

That's a shot of the foyer you enter, after ringing a bell for entrance, as this is will be an evening out of the ordinary, requiring ceremony. At most there will be 10 of you eating at one time. Decompress with some champagne and enjoy the art. Not shown, a Damien Hirst behind us, fortunately not The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, as facing a 14-foot-long tiger shark in formaldehyde before a sushi meal might be a tad unsettling. Plus, that piece's owner Steve Cohen also owns the Mets, a very different kettle of dead fish. (I am a Mets fan, I'm allowed to make that joke. And go cry.)

That's dish 2--you get a couple composed dishes before diving into nigiri. Kanpachi on the left, uni on the right, the darlingest dollop of wasabi at the bottom. Clean, lean, yet texture and flavor off the charts. As with the gorgeous crystal that welcomes your hand like a handshake you never knew you longed for, the serving pieces are also artisanal bowls from Japan--but you can read about both in my Indy article.

The Kinmedai above is Goldeneye, but don't think Bond, think snapper. Its other nickname is Splendid Alfonsino, which sounds to me like a wrestler beloved by Tony Soprano, but what do I know. For a whitefish it brings colorful flavor. That's the housemade (as is everything here--they even mill their own rice) pickled ginger alongside. Lee even suggests you can pick up the ginger with your fingers. There's ritual, and then there's "you're here to have a great time." Silver's is all about the latter.

Saba--mackerel--just lightly pickled, to cut its native oiliness just the slightest. And notch the flavor even further. Note, despite my odd angle in the photo, that piece is placed on my plate to ease the way for my left-handed approach. They noticed my sinistral nature early on, switched my chopsticks and cool chopsticks holder to the left side of my place setting, and then all the nigiri came angled just for me. That's the kind of attention everything, everyone gets here. (A teenager with her dad--I sure didn't have that dad!--down the bar got the NA pairing, as special and explained to her as the sake pairings were to me, for example.)

Akami. Yep, "aka" in Japan means red. Often consider a lesser tuna (it's the least fatty), but nothing is lesser at Silvers.

Among the greater things at Silvers is Jaime Rocha, here expounding how Iwa 5 is the Dom Perignon of sake. That's no idle comparison, for it's made by Richard Geoffroy, the former Master Brewer of Dom Pérignon. This sake is “orchestrated” with three different rice varietals and five different brewing yeasts including two wine yeasts. Complex isn't word enough. It veritably danced across one's palate. Rocha knows how to pair, how to pour, how to explain, how to pique your interest so you can't wait to taste. Plus, he was the waiter for Chryss and me when we had our wedding reception at Wine Cask many moons ago, so how could we not love him?

The Zuke, which spell check doesn't want you to type, is a marinated tuna that gets a very quick sear, too. It likes to pretend it will fall apart at its segments, but won't, quite. It does bring the meaty texture to fish fintastically [sic] well, though.

And the last course before a killer sorbet was simply titled uni & caviar, but there was nothing simple about it. I actually giggled with joy after my first bite. Lee suggested we eat it in four chomps, but I kept trying to practice Zeno's paradox with it, I didn't want to stop enjoying it. He lavishes on the caviar, and those little crunchy pearls (I forget exactly what they were--a buckwheat something? sorry, didn't take notes as I didn't plan to write about it and just wanted to live in the moment) added just the right texture and crunch. Luxuriousness defined.

Here's your present for heading home, feeling a bit transformed, eyeing the world for all its delicate possibility. Inside that lovely package is some loose-leaf, organic Sencha Yuzu green tea. As the package says, "This tea is bright & smooth," and after sipping it, so am I.

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