308 West 58th Street off Columbus Circle
$170 for two, with three beers, with tip
I was so glad to hear when Blue Ribbon opened their new space in the upper west side. I don’t have to go to the east side for sushi! I don’t have to go downtown for Blue Ribbon! Right across the street from the Eighth Avenue entrance of the Time Warner Center, this new location is the most convenient for me coming from home or from a movie in Lincoln Center. It’s exactly what we did last week after watching Dave Eggers’ movie, Away We Go. The rain let up and we walked down eight blocks from 66th Street.
We opted for the sushi bar when the maitre d’ let us in past the bar. Minus the Brooklyn branch, this Blue Ribbon is actually the most spacious. It looked like any other restaurant situated in the floor level of a hotel and it definitely strays away from Blue Ribbon’s more serene setup. Of course, every Blue Ribbon gets loud and this uptown branch is no different, but the noise is spread out because of the high ceilings and wide dining room.
We nursed our Sapporos and Kirin Lights while we enjoyed several small plates with the ubiquitous bone marrow. The salad of sautéed wild mushrooms bathed in tamari butter and was very fragrant; same with the simple mushroom broth that calmed my stomach. An appetizer of octopus was fresh and tender and a half dozen Canadian oysters drizzled with a ponzu-like sauce were deliciously tarty. I don’t think I’ve ever had wild Alaskan salmon as sushi before–they were really fresh and buttery here. The uni was silky and rich while the roe with quail egg was expectedly light and crisp.
It might have moved uptown, but the prices are up to par with its counterparts downtown. At Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar and Grill, it’s impossible to spend less than $80 a person, but you’d be surprised at how full the place was on a rainy Friday night.