63 Clinton Street…NYC Restaurant Review

In the pocket.

Love everything about this term, especially when the bands I worked with finished up a show and walked off stage, elated saying, “We were in the pocket tonight!”

That is exactly how I felt the other night when we celebrated my daughter’s birthday at the exceptional new restaurant, 63 Clinton Street.

Securing a reservation for the 40-seat restaurant was difficult, but I never met a challenge I did not accept and ultimately defeat.

We arrived at 7:30pm and were immediately impressed with the transformation from pizza place Speedy Romeo to a sleek, inviting new space.

The staff is charming, incredibly well informed and very invested.

In fact, they give a quick yet thorough resume of the two principals, Chef Sam Clonts and beverage connoisseur and front of the house mainstay, Raymond Trinh.

Chef Clonts left his his home state of Arizona for Manhattan, studying at the Institute of Culinary Education while working at The Ritz-Carlton Battery Park. Towards the end of 2011 he was introduced to three Michelin-starred Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare.

Over the course of the next five years he worked his way up in the famed kitchen. Early on, Sam called Raymond whom he met years earlier while in high school to join him at Brooklyn Fare. Over the past 15 years the two have worked side by side.

In early 2017, Clonts left Brooklyn Fare for an opportunity to join Uchu Hospitality as Bar Uchu’s executive chef, while Raymond came on board as the restaurant’s team captain overseeing all front and back of house operations.

By October 2017, Sam’s cooking earned Bar Uchu a Michelin star, making him the youngest, starred American chef at 26 years old.

Armed with experience and flair 63 Clinton Street was born and the seven course $92 fixed price menu was created.

The attention to detail without being fussy is noteworthy.

We went with the wine pairings ($65) which were incredible.

We started with Christophe Mignon, an impressive, smooth as silk champagne.

We sipped slowly awaiting the caviar hand roll which was beyond fabulous.

The  sweet, smooth caviar wrapped in seaweed and warm sushi rice is from Uruguay and Chef Clonts prepared the hand roll at the table liberally embellishing the roll with the buttery caviar (+$55).

The first course was an unusually plated and fabulous tasting  Breakfast Taco made with ajitama (the custardy eggs often served in ramen bowls) and salsa verde presented in a crispy flour tortilla…they even substituted corn for flour due to a gluten intolerance. The taco was topped with delectable trout roe.

The timing between courses was impeccable and the introduction of each wine pairing added to every course.

The Fresh Tofu with fresh yellow wax beans (made me envision school cafeteria waxed beans, but do not fear this is not hairnet ladled tasteless waxed beans) from upstate New York and the milky extraordinary fresh tofu was enhanced by a serving of Japanese Uni (+$13). This was paired with an excellent Sake.

The Hamachi course was sweet and tender highlighted by fresh wasabi and dill.

The chilled Black Cod with daikon was a surprise and very satisfying.

The Guido Marcella white wine was floral and aromatic and quite delectable…I am becoming a white wine fan…who knew?!

The Honeynut Squash was outrageous presented with barley miso, nori and adorned with crunchy hazelnuts.

A crunchy Dark Rye Sourdough with addictive butter from Normandy was outstanding.

The Berkshire Pork Short Rib was mind blowing with an equally marvelous maitake mushroom and carmelized shallots.

They substituted glorious shrimp for my non-meat eating husband accompanied by the maitake mushrooms.

The Bastarda was equally rewarding with a long earthy finish.

Dessert was a sumptuous peach pie accompanied by aptly named Bugey Cerdon champagne like sparkling rose that ended the meal on a high note.

At the culmination of the glorious three hour feast owner Trinh joined the celebration and treated us to an extraordinarily smooth Japanese whisky.

We toasted Courtny’s birthday and the exceptional culinary treat.

63 Clinton Street is a must!

Do yourself a favor and make a reservation…this is a dining experience not to be missed.

63 Clinton Street New York City. Open Tuesday-Saturday 5-11pm. Reservations on Resy.

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