When überchef Andrew Weissman closed his vaunted Le Rêve downtown, Sandbar, tethered to it by an underground umbilical, was forced to leave as well. There was wailing. But while both ended up at The Pearl, Le Rêve having become its Italian almost-equivalent, Il Sogno, Sandbar, by dint of an expanded kitchen, could actually spread its sails. They’re now full-bellied in the wanton wind. (Thanks, Will.)
To illustrate the point: one evening’s special was live sea urchin, extracted, combined with tuna, avocado, ruby grapefruit, and ginger, and reinserted in its prickly prison. Sure, the uni no longer dominated, but what a cellblock riot. Sashimis are routinely better than at local sushi bars. And though “seviche” is notable for its lack of limeyness, an octopus example comes to you with a shower of beet microgreens, slivers of red onion and bell pepper, and tender tentacles clad in an herbal pesto. In an adieu to traditional raie au beurre noir, deftly sautéed skate wing may be presented over a hash of butternut squash with dried cranberry. The thoughtful wine list obliges with a seamless Saint-Véran.
For dessert, key lime tart; it’s the city’s best closer and cheerfully makes up for any lack of sitrus in the ceviche.
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