Brushstroke (30 Hudson Street, 212-791-3771), David Bouley’s recently opened Tribeca restaurant, specializes in kaiseki-style menus at a pretty price ($85 for eight courses, or $135 for 10 courses). But you can still dine at the restaurant without breaking the bank — by heading to the bar room, which offers a sushi and à la carte menu. And it would be worth your while, because the crab and truffle chawan-mushi is one of the best bets on the block.
Chawan-mushi is a steamed egg custard, usually flavored with soy sauce, dashi, and mirin. The version at Brushstroke (a similar version of which is on the $135 menu) comes in a vessel topped with a truffle-flecked dashi broth and is studded with chunks of Dungeness crab. At $9, it’s a small bowl, but not so tiny you’ll feel cheated eating it. Instead, the custard melts in your mouth, adding richness to the already decadent broth. The crab brings a new dimension of sweetness and a bit of texture.
This chawan-mushi is the kind of silky smooth and comforting dish you’d want to eat when you get your wisdom teeth yanked out. Hell, we’d even argue that it’ll make you happier than a handful of Vicodin. And it tastes a lot yummier, too.