New to the scene…
* It’s a feast for the eyes. If you like what you see at Yo! Sushi — a U.K.-based Japanese street food and sushi chain that opened its first New York location Thursday in Flatiron — reach out and grab it. What makes this 44-seat sushi haven (23 W. 23rd St.) unique is a 100-foot conveyer belt that runs across the dining room. The rotating spectacle is loaded with fresh sushi, sashimi and tempura churned out from the open kitchen and served in color-coded bowls that correspond with prices. Rolls like the namesake Yo! Roll — salmon, avocado, Japanese mayo and orange masago — include four pieces for $ 5.
“Visually, it’s appealing,” says chef Mike Lewis.
It’s tasty, too. The Aburi Sharing Platter, which includes items like the Bigeye Tuna Ponzu with caviar, scallions and orange ponzu, could rival Nobu dishes. Only this is served in a no-frills, fast-casual dining room perfect for solo dining if you’re in a hurry. Servers are available by pushing a button at your table to order drinks and hot plates, like the salmon nori tacos ($ 6), served in a perfectly crispy shell with sriracha mayo and a yuzu salsa; or the simple but savory katsu sando, a sandwich with panko fried chicken served with spicy mustard on soft white bread ($ 6).
There’s an extensive list of cocktails, like the Yuzu Margarita — made with tequila, triple sec, yuzu juice and yuzu salt rim — and craft beer, sake and tea.
Concerned about freshness? Don’t be. Chefs place a sticker under each bowl noting the time it was made. Raw dishes can’t sit out for more than one hour.
“Belt management is the hardest part — noting what’s selling and what needs replacing; making sure it’s constantly filled,” says Lewis says.
* If you can’t take the heat, get out of this flaming hot kitchen. Argentinian chef Norberto Piattoni, who trained with open fire master chef Francis Mallmann of the Netflix show, “Chef’s Table,” is using his skills for newly-open Metta (197 Adelphi St.) in Fort Greene, Brooklyn. The menu features dishes made on the fire-powered parilla (grill) and plancha (griddle). Expect beef heart carpaccio ($ 15); roast lamb with chili; and entrees like pork steak with charred cabbage ($ 24).
* Spring is coming — and so are new “Game of Thrones” wines. Toast the HBO hit fantasy series, returning in July, with a red blend, chardonnay and cabernet sauvignon, each capturing the dramatic complexity of the series. The Red Blend has notes of dark black cherrry, vanilla and blackberry ($ 19.99); the Chardonnay has a fruity flavor of peaches and Meyer lemon with honey and baking spices ($ 19.99); and the Cabernet, from Napa Valley, contains smooth tannins with a touch of cocoa with notes of black currant ($ 49.99).
* Tale as old as tea time. Twinings has launched new “Beauty and the Beast”-themed tea boxes and flavors in Pure Peppermint; Camomile, Honey & Vanilla; Orange & Cinnamon Spice; and Lemon & Ginger timed to the release of the live action movie out Friday. The Lemon & Ginger variety is a zesty citrus flavor with a strong ginger taste and features actress Emma Watson as Belle on the box. (Four pack is $ 15).
* Reese’s has added a little something extra inside its already perfect Peanut Butter Cups. The new Crunchy Cookie Cup features chocolate cookie bits. It’s crunchier and more chocolaty than the original. The new product hits shelves in May in a standard two-cup package for $ 1.09; or $ 1.79 for the “Big Cup” king size.
* Balaboosta (214 Mulberry St.) is hosting its annual Passover Seder Dinner on Tuesday, April 11 with chef Einat Admony, the culinary guru behind the perfectly cooked falafel balls at sister restaurant Taim. She’s serving up five courses with wine pairings, live music and dessert by Nicholas Morgenstern of Morgenstern’s Ice Cream. Belly up to cod balls, lamb shoulder and more. Tickets are $ 100 – $ 150 at eventbrite.com.