Say what you want about massive restaurant groups. Their venues can feel overly produced and painfully impersonal. However, I appreciate a place in the world where I can go and always get the same high standard of service and quality. If you can do that and avoid the pitfalls, I’m happy. You cannot mention the words “massive restaurant group” and “NYC” without mentioning BR Guest and their rolodex of venues.
BR Guest restaurants span 4 cities and dozens of concepts from around the globe including Mexican, Japanese, and Italian. I can say with confidence that I have been frequenting their restaurants for nearly a decade and as far as large restaurant groups go, they rank the highest in my book. Every part of your experience is painstakingly choreographed to create consistency and quality but still make you think it's all natural (like my dye job).
Two of their seafood concepts, Blue Fin & Izi, occupy the corner space across from the Tix Booth in Times Square. Their staff, from the bus boy to the executive chef, could not have been kinder or more accommodating. The menu is vast with a large sushi section. Their rolls were creative and expertly prepared. They might have the best poke I’ve ever tasted, with tuna that is perfectly dressed and literally melts in your mouth. They offer a huge list of shareable dishes, best of which are the rock shrimp wontons and the spicy tartare trio that arrives in crispy wonton cups. Round out the meal with any number of wines from their list, which won the Wine Spectator award of excellence in 2016. Next time mom & dad are in town, it’s a great place to take them. Here’s what we had:
FIERY LOBSTER ROLL - hamachi, avocado, jalapeño, rice puffs, spicy sweet basil
SALMON - lime kosho, ginger blossom
TIMES SQUARE - crab, spicy hamachi, mango, avocado, yuzu-miso
TUNA POKE - sake braised hijikii, garlic chips
SPICY TARTARE TRIO – Hamachi, salmon, tuna, crispy wontons, tobiko
DRESSED LOBSTER COBB SALAD - deviled eggs, bacon, avocado, charred corn, market greens, lemon-buttermilk
KOBE BEEF SLIDERS – tomato bacon jam
ROCK SHRIMP WONTONS - Chili-soy broth, scallions
ROCKY ROAD TO THE BIG FORTUNE – Chocolate covered giant fortune cookie, marshmallow, peanuts, filled with white and dark chocolate mousse
Address: W New York Times Square, 1567 Broadway, New York, NY 10036