While some industrious folk ferment their own kimchi and cure the meats for their midday salumi break (what, you don’t take daily meat repasts?), Blue Ribbon Sushi (multiple locations) offers a fresher and more instantly gratifying take on D.I.Y., opposable thumbs being the only requirement.
Blue Ribbon’s sushi chefs will happily make you temaki — uncut sheets of nori seaweed rolled into cylinders or cones and filled with rice, seafood, and, occasionally, vegetables, herbs, and condiments. And at most of the brand’s branches, the chefs adhere to a tidy and compact standard (some establishments’ hand rolls can look comically close to ice cream cones). But if you feel like giving the masters a run for their money, opt instead for temaki honnin.
The platter holds all the necessary components for an impromptu sushi-making session: bundles of seasoned rice, crisp nori squares, and five varieties of fish. There’s always tuna, salmon, and yellowtail, as well as imitation crab and avocado for the masochists who enjoy California rolls. Local whitefish like fluke and porgy are the wildcards on the platter, which changes seasonally.
Don’t despair if your handiwork doesn’t look like the pros’: The quality of Blue Ribbon’s raw ingredients ensures that the results will at least still taste great. And the hands-on aspect makes it a great play for date night.
The Village Voice is counting down to our Best of New York City issue in October. We’re combing the city every day, one dish at a time, to guide you to the most delicious food in NYC. These are our 100 Favorite Dishes for 2015, in no particular order, save for the top 10. To read about previous dishes, browse our 100 Favorite Dishes page.