Cititour: The New York Guide to Events, Restaurants, Music, and Nightlife



Cuisine: Japanese, Sushi


Legendary three Michelin-starred sushi master Masa Takayama (Masa, Bar Masa, Kappo Masa) opens his first downtown restaurant, Tetsu, a modern Japanese robata grill in NYC's TriBeCa neighborhood. During his early days in NYC, chef Masa was constantly in search of a place to relax after a shift with his favorite comfort foods and a great martini. Having a hard time finding exactly what he was looking for, he decided to create it himself. Tetsu has been a labor of love seven years in the making.

Tetsu's menu is inspired by Masa’s travels around the world and divided by cooking style—raw, grilled, fried, sizzling— as well as salads, stews, rice dishes and unexpected takes on sushi. Signature items include tuna butsu guacamole, beef tripe tomatillo and fried dry-aged quail. Tetsu also offers Masa’s first-ever burgers: served on pretzel buns, the lamb or beef burgers are grilled using a cast iron device designed by Masa himself, and are only available from 5-6pm daily. An approachable selection of regional beers and wines complements the menu, alongside a list of Japanese sakes and craft cocktails created with local spirits.

The name Tetsu, "iron" in Japanese, is reflected in the restaurant's dramatic urban-inspired design centered around the robata grill. Housed in a landmarked loft building built in 1865, the multi-level restaurant features the original cast iron framework, soaring double-paned Federal windows, floor-to-ceiling Corinthian columns and two open staircases. On the ground floor, diners can sit along a 36-foot African Bubinga wood bar overlooking the kitchen, similar to the way guests would gather around the robata in a traditional Japanese home. A mezzanine with leather banquettes is suspended from steel bridge cables and offers a place to enjoy cocktails before dinner.

Below Tetsu is an intimate subterranean space called Basement, set to open in 2018. Basement's open kitchen is chef Masa’s playground for a rotating omakase menu of unusual proteins including whole squab, A5 Wagyu beef and whole fish displayed on beds of ice and broken down in front of the guest. Basement features a hand-sanded African Bubinga wood countertop, distressed leather chairs and oiled oak floors.

Neighborhood: Tribeca

78 Leonard Street
New York, NY
(212) 207 2370

Payment: Accepts Credit Cards