10 Great Sake Dens
by Michael Anstendig, New York Observer contributor, 02/27/2009
10. Sake Bar Satsko
202 E. 7th St. • 212-614-0933
If you’re looking for a casual watering hole that just happens to have sake and Japanese-inflected eats, Sake Bar Satsko is your place. With large plate-glass windows, this street-level sakery is one of the few that welcomes natural light. Its ambiance is East Village bohemian, the walls plastered with Polaroid portraits of loyal customers, mostly local professionals and artists. Red and orange beaded lampshades provide a hippy feel and blue and white Christmas lights add some sparkle. The L-shaped wood bar seats eight and there are two booths with silky cushions that encourage lingering. The Waka-Ebisu Ninja, a full-bodied and fruity tokubetsu junmai from Mie, marries up well with the menu’s massive spicy tuna rolls, notable for their toothsome piscine chunks, rather than the more common minced versions. The Meibo Yowanotsuki, a junmai ginjo, has a slight Granny Smith apple character that accentuates grilled squid or even guacamole. In addition to Sapporo beer and Sixpoint craft ale on tap, there are jolly cocktails like the Sakegria, with sake, plum wine, pomegranate juice and fruit. Sake Bar Satsko’s unintimidating atmosphere makes it a great point of embarkation for the aspiring rice wine acolyte.
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