En Brasserie is a stalwart in the West Village whose facade has been unfairly obscured by scaffolding for a very long time. Getting past that, however, is more than worth it. This is a large space that manages to create multiple dining moments, from high tables in the bar near the front door, to a low bar around the open chefs kitchen, to tables. The ceilings are soaring but sensitive decor balance that for a truly delightful ambiance.
Food is served for sharing and the presentation is especially beautiful, even measured against typical Japanese standards.
Of course, the food matters even more, and meets the high standards of the decor. The Black Cod with miso was exceptional, though fish is cooked "rare," which should be factored into selections for diners who prefer fish cooked through. The Wagyu beef was exceptional, served in slender slices so tender they barely required chewing. The grilled chicken is served on a sizzling plate that filled the table with delicious aromas that encouraged appetites.
While not a sushi restaurant, per se, En Brasserie offers a well-prepared selection with truly fresh fish as sushi, sashimi or in rolls.
When available, try the salmon shoulder, flown in from Japan. It's a flavorful cut of fish not generally available in other restaurants.
The wine list is smallish but well selected.
Service was a little overly-attentive; staff repeatedly interrupted conversation to ask if they could clear plates. It became annoying.
En Brasserie isn't inexpensive; with drinks, wine and tips,more than $100 per person.
Reservations well in advance absolutely necessary.
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