Zenkichi has none of the signature Brooklyn-institution characteristics, yet it’s been in Williamsburg for over ten years. It’s not sceney, it’s not really trendy, and doesn’t have a dose of hipster in it. It’s actually a pretty old-school Tokyo restaurant, but in the most unique, romantic setting. If you love Japanese food and are looking for a special Brooklyn date night, Zenkichi’s a score.
Zenkichi is a modern Japanese brasserie in North Williamsburg, opened in 2006 by a homesick-Tokyo native wanting to recreate its authentic dining experience. Zenkichi’s cuisine goes beyond sushi and yakitori, focusing on Tokyo-style seasonal small plates, made for sharing and pairing with sake. Although there is an extensive à-la-carte menu, the emphasis is placed on the $75 eight-course omakase, which changes every five weeks. High-quality fish and vegetables are the star ingredients in almost every one of the beautifully plated dishes (many vegetarian options are also available, including a special $65 omakase). The food is very good – not mindblowing – but undeniably solid. It’s not cheap, but still a great value for an omakase. Portions are small but just about right for a satisfying eight-course tasting. Behold fellow winos, there is no wine (at all!), but a meal at Zenkichi is best paired with one of its over 50 varieties of Sake (or Japanese beer).
Accommodates to allergies and dietary restrictions, and even offers a wheat-free omakase!
Now, what makes the dining experience at Zenkichi so worthwhile is its unique setting. A wooden entrance on North 6th street reveals this quiet cloister of a restaurant, setting the tone of what feels like a mysterious hideaway. Zenkichi is the perfect spot for a hot romantic date – not so much for the atmosphere (am I the only one puzzled by the Jazz soundtrack?), but for its unique intimate seating. Once you go up the candle-lit stairs, you find yourself in a windowless corridor of semi-private dining booths. Make sure you request a table that comes with a bamboo shade – these curtains come down for privacy, and a call button is available for when you need assistance (service is top notch!). Now you get the hot date picture? Keep in mind you’re not invisible though – the relaxing setting and sexy illicit feeling might make you want to skip straight to dessert if you know what I mean! 😛
Come with a special date!
Although the 2-floor dining rooms accommodate all party sizes, Zenkichi’s distinctive relaxing, romantic setting is obviously best tailored for couples. Reservations are easy to come by, but make sure you book a table by making a special request for a cozy booth.
Open 7 nights a week, for dinner only:
Mon-Sat: 6pm – Midnight
Sun: 5:30pm – 11:30pm