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Kappo Sono Is an Intimate New Kaiseki Restaurant in New York City

Kappo Sono Is an Intimate New Kaiseki Restaurant in New York City

At the now-closed Kyo Ya, Chikara Sono was honored with accolades, including Michelin stars. Now, the chef is bringing those award-worthy talents to a fresh concept in New York City.

Kappo Sono, which opens Friday, is an intimate kaiseki restaurant near Union Square from rising star Kuma Hospitality Group. With just 12 seats and one seating per evening, beginning at 6:30 p.m. (5:30 p.m. on Sundays), it may soon become one of the hardest reservations to score. (In fact, a spokesperson for the restaurant told Robb Report that it’s already sold out for the next few weeks.)

One of the many courses

Kappo Sono

Behind the counter, Sono and his team are preparing a multicourse meal ($350 per person) that showcases the bounty of the season. On the opening menu, highlights include yellowtail prosciutto, deep-fried abalone and truffle croquettes, and seared Wagyu tongue marinated in saikyo miso. “My style has been to prepare a number of classic courses,” Sono recently told Resy, “but this time I will serve more courses with smaller portions.” The rich plates are capped off with three desserts, whipped up by pastry chef Norie Uematsu.

Beverage director Leo Lê, meanwhile, has worked on the drinks pairings. For an extra $175, the sake and wine option includes both European and Japanese bottles, including those from the likes of the producers Aruga and Mie Ikeno. Those who wish not to imbibe but want something a little special can get a mocktail and tea pairing for $100.

The intimacy of the space, designed by Philip Wu Architects, ensures an elevated evening, complete with conversation with the chef and keepsakes to take home. Plus, an outdoor terrace—the restaurant sits on the sixth floor of its building—is an ideal location for private events.

Some of the desserts

Some of the desserts

Yoshio Itagaki

Sono is perhaps best known for his work at Kyo Ya, which was honored with Michelin stars for a decade. But he has been cooking in New York since 1986, when he relocated to the city from his native Hokkaido, Japan. Lê, too, has a deep pedigree in the New York culinary world: He’s the beverage director at Momoya restaurants, The New York Times noted, where he has similarly worked to spotlight Japanese wines.

And as for Kuma Hospitality Group, it already has two Michelin-star restaurants under its umbrella: the 10-seat omakase counter Sushi Ichimura and French spot L’Abeille, each with one star to its name.

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If you’re able to snag a seat, Kappo Sono may be one of the better N.Y.C. meals you’ve had in a while.

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