|The Stuffed Squid appetizer, above, from Chef Yoshiharu Suzuki, the sushi master at Bel Posto in Hackensack, below.|
|Suzuki's credentials include service at three Japanese restaurants in North Jersey: Bushido in Cliffside Park, Wild Ginger/Wild Nigiri in Englewood and Inaho in Ridgewood. All are now closed.|
By Victor E. Sasson
With the installation of a sushi bar at Bel Posto, a fine-dining restaurant in Hackensack, a feast of high-quality raw fish is really close to home.
On Saturday night, I drove less than a mile for a bountiful dinner prepared by Yoshiharu Suzuki, a Japanese chef I first met at Wild Ginger/Wild Nigiri in Englewood more more than 15 years ago.
I was a big fan of Suzuki's artful mix of cooked and raw seafood dishes, including his sumptuous inside-out lobster roll.
At Bel Posto, I started my dinner with a refreshing Seaweed Salad ($6), followed by a whole, tender Stuffed Squid with brown rice ($8).
The mollusk -- moistened with a dark squid sauce -- was wonderful, even though it was prepared in a microwave.
For my entree, I chose the Sashimi Assortment ($28), a long, rectangular plate filled with raw seafood, rolls and the chef's own sauce and dressing.
The platter was a delight to behold:
Suzuki fashioned thin slices of white snapper into a flower and watered the petals with a Japanese vinaigrette and olive oil.
And he shaped and marked the wasabi (horseradish) to resemble a leaf.
Three large, raw scallops -- from Japan -- literally melted in my mouth.
|A small bottle of Japanese beer was $6.|
|The centerpiece of my Sashimi Assortment was a flower of thin-sliced white snapper swimming in a Japanese vinaigrette and olive oil, and white-snapper rolls, above.|
|Mackerel rolls, left, sliced yellowtail and salmon; and wasabi marked to resembles a leaf.|
|Melt-in-the-mouth raw scallops from Japan, foreground; a raw shrimp and creamy raw-eel and avocado rolls, center rear.|
I drank a small bottle of Japanese beer, and Suzuki treated me to small cup of sake and another of plum wine to end the meal.
I ordered too much food, but finished everything.
It probably wasn't the best night to have dinner at Bel Posto, where the first-floor dining room had been reserved for a wedding reception, complete with defeaning music.
I sat at the sushi bar, and behind me, a D.J. set up, tested his equipment, played loud music and wolfed down a platter of food before the party started.
Sushi World at Bel Posto, 160 Prospect Ave., Hackensack; 201-880-8750.
Japanese Chef Yoshiharu Suzuki serves lunch Tuesdays through Fridays (noon-3 p.m.), Sunday brunch (11 a.m. to 3 p.m.) and dinner Tuesdays through Saturdays (4 p.m. to 10 p.m.).