Note: Click here for a more recent review of Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill.
Blue Ribbon Sushi on Sullivan Streeet in SoHo is an intimate place, to which Ruth Reichl awarded two stars in 1998. It does not accept reservations. Eager beavers line up around the block for one of the few, coveted seats. Its late hours make it a beloved haunt for chefs all over town.
But Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill is a cynical affair built to capitalize on the name, dressed for the big dance and tricked out in a slightly smaller version of the modern big-box Asian style.
Ryan Sutton, reviewing for bloomberg.com, counted 168 items on the menu. Bravo for Sutton, as he saved me the trouble. All I know is that we were overwhelmed. My son and I each ordered a selection of rolls ($28; photo above), my girlfriend the sushi deluxe ($29.50). We found both dishes competently prepared, but underwhelming. “Pedestrian” was the word that came to mind. With 166 other choices remaining, who’s to know whether this is typical? The choice of sakes was impressive, but expensive.
The address is a tease, by the way: you’ll search in vain for the hotel on Columbus Circle: it’s actually on 58th Street, across from the mall, several doors down from the circle.
Blue Ribbon Sushi Bar & Grill (308 W. 58th Street in the Thompson Hotel, 6 Columbus Circle)