Situated in Chelsea’s Maritime Hotel, Matsuri fills an unusual niche in the Japanese restaurant scene. For starters, it’s enormous, with high vaulted ceilings, oversize paper lanterns, and a lengthy bar. Unlike the quiet, shoji-screened rooms or the steakhouse setting of many Japanese restaurants, Matsuri reflects the spirit of its name (which translates to “festival”) with an energized, club-like atmosphere. A sake sommelier guides diners through the list of nearly 200 bottles, while Tokyo-born chef Tadashi Ono prepares traditional sushi rolls, small plates such as unagi pie (freshwater eel baked in phyllo dough), and large plates like sake-marinated black cod.
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.