Summer Fridays are a thing for a reason. So trade in the laptop for a tabletop of exotic plates and hand-crafted cocktails as you roll into the weekend.
Standing (since 1999) on the corner of Barrow and 7th Ave. South, SUSHISAMBA is a vibrant bi-level restaurant that celebrates a clash of Japanese, Brazilian and Peruvian culture, cuisine and design.
80 degrees and sunny? Guests can enjoy al fresco dining beneath the iconic orange umbrellas on the sidewalk, or under the rotating palm-leaf fans and dangling foliage on the rooftop terrace.
If not, hang out in the sunken lounge with some upbeat tunes, around the circular sushi bar featuring renown chefs rolling “edible art,” or along either beverage bars – downstairs and upstairs – which offer a running list of cocktails, regional spirits such as shochu, pisco and cachaça, as well as a mass selection of premium sake.
Inventive fare includes Brazilian churrasco and moqueca, Peruvian anticuchos and ceviche, and Japanese tempura and sushi. Accompanying these items are critically-acclaimed Culinary Cocktails mixed with various aromas and natural infusions – i.e. coffee-infused Bacardi Rum, and newly-launched Virgin Cocktails made with herbal elixirs such as aloe, matcha and shiso – all brought to us by SUSHISAMBA’s Global Head of Spirit & Cocktail Development Richard Woods.
For five plus years, Woods, winner of the UK’s “Most Imaginative Bartender Award,” repeatedly impresses critics, connoisseurs and media alike with his seasonal beverage programs presented at all SUSHISAMBA locations – New York, Miami Beach, Las Vegas, London and Coral Gables. All programs highlight his pioneering craftsmanship and innovative approach to cocktail creations.
Look familiar? Woods’ latest summer program of Culinary and Virgin Cocktails contain ingredients that you would normally find on your plate. In collaboration with the kitchen team, he was able to create the opportunity for discerning guests to enjoy these ingredients in their glasses this summer.
While Woods was whipping me up a Koko Cold Brew, I asked where he drew his inspirations from. He peered through his black, thick-framed eyeglasses, and in his heavy British accent, he responded: “A walk, a smell, a date, a meal…anything.” This confirms the diverse and unusual ingredients, like coffee, pineapple and cilantro, Woods adds to his lovely libations.
The main purpose of Woods’ summer libations is to activate all senses. Each custom Culinary and Virgin Cocktail holds an abundance of aromatic garnishes around the glass rim. In fact, few cocktails do not provide a drinking straw, therefore, you must stick your nose into the glass for every sip. The fragrant garnishes enhance the flavors of the refreshing elixirs and aromatic scents in the new alcoholic and sans alcoholic spirits.
Do not even think about stealing a straw from the bar.
Koko Cold Brew
Caffeinated Coffee-infused Bacardi Rum shaken with pineapple, cilantro and coconut sugar. Served long and fresh. No straw needed. Covered with a parched pineapple piece and cilantro snippets. Don’t panic when you feel an extra heartbeat.
Snow Pea Gnt
Snow Pea and Edamame-infused Bombay Dry Gin and fine tonic water stirred into one. Served tall with no straw – Get your nose into those mint leaves for a powerful sip.
Diplomatico Dark Rum, sweet plantain puree and aromatized Wine shaken with egg white, banana, cacao and coffee brew. Presented with a bushel of mint leaves and salty plantain chips – Feel free to dip your chips into the frothy rum layer dusted with cacao.
A lightly carbonated mixture of Vodka, lime and ginger juices, and coconut miso reduction. Served long and garnished with few mint leaves, a dried up lime slice and candied ginger pick. You may ask – “What’s a mule without a (copper) mug?” Sadly, I don’t know, and I don’t ask because… Mi-mi-miso thirsty.
Body goes numb
Vitamin-packed aloe and lychee elixirs churned with yuzu (that Japanese citrus fruit similar to an orange/lemon/lime) and sweet pineapple-tarragon syrup. Served long over crushed ice. Topped with a dehydrated pineapple sliver, a single rose petal and mint leaves to active your senses.
Let’s make ‘Matcha Monday’ happen
Matcha Milkshake – Silky quinoa and rice milk, mild coconut, vanilla and matcha infusion. Served long over crushed ice. Garnished with mint leaves and coconut shavings.
Zesty yuzu and elderflower juices combined for a citrus twist; Mixed with shiso cordial, a refreshing elixir made with the leaves of both shiso plants. Delicately balances the qualities of both acidic juices. Served long and lightly carbonated. (Avoid using a straw)
What are you waiting for? Send out a mass ‘Company-All’ email, and hit the rooftop garden oasis of SUSHISAMBA with your co-workers and friends for lounging and libations.
Great for: Big Groups, Private Events, Weekend Brunch, Happy Hour, Late-Night Bites, Kid-Friendly, Outdoor Seating
SUSHISAMBA Details87 7th Avenue South @ Barrow Street
New York, NY 10014
Connect Socially – @SUSHISAMBA
Lunch & Dinner
Sunday – Wednesday: 11:30am – 12:00am
Thursday – Saturday: 11:30am – 1:00am
Saturday: 11:30am – 4:00pm
Sunday: 11:30am – 4:00pm
Sunday – Friday: 4:00pm – 7:00pm & 11:00pm – Close
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