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Sen in Sag Harbor, New York


Ranking: 3Read Full Review


  • Food8-9(Wow)
  • Pricing6-7(Mid-High)
  • Atmosphere8
  • Service9(Outstanding)
  • Selection7(Sushi Rolls)
  • Value8(Outstanding)

The Review

Rounding out our first trip out to Eastern Long Island was Sen. This restaurant has a great location in the busy heart of Sag Harbor. The restaurant has a swanky but relaxed feel, with a cool and tranquil decor mixed with an industrial twist. The place has modern paper lights, painted green walls and the booths come adorned with pillows. There is a large bustling crowd which grows in size as the evening continues. We are seated by Jesse, the incredibly knowledge and equally passionate manager, and our evening begins.

We try three different sakes. The first is Wakatake. Wakatake is Junmai Daiginj-shu sake made from pure koji rice. It is composed of Sake that is made up of water, koji mold, yeast and rice milled 50% with 50% of each grain of rice remaining. It is semi-sweet sake and goes down smoothly. The next is unfiltered Nigori. Instead of being filter Nigori sakes are passed through a loose mesh to separate it from the mash. This one is bold, pure and rich. It is our favorite of the three. The third is Oka. It is a Junmai Ginj?-shu, meaning it is Sake that is made up of water, koji mold, yeast and rice milled 40% with 60% of each grain remaining. It is the sweetest of the bunch but still soft and balanced with a hint of melon. Sake is Japanese rice based alcoholic beverage, made through a similar process as beer.

  • Te Amo Margarita & Midnight Lemonade Jesse is a sake connoisseur and states he will treat us to a special evening full of different sake pairings, but urges us to try two specialty cocktails from their menu. Sen has a very extensive alcoholic menu, but really customize in sake. Ask anyone on staff and they can easily recommend a different variety based upon your taste buds and the meal you are enjoying. The cocktails we try are the Te Amo Margarita and the Midnight Lemonade. The Te Amo Margarita is partida tequila, which has been aged in Jack Daniel's bottles. The liquor is mixed with pink grapefruit and St. Germain, elderflower liquor. It has a smooth, citrus taste. The tequila within in is exquisite.

    Midnight Lemonade The Midnight Limonade starts with their homemade lemonade which is a combination of lime juice and lemon, infused with ginger syrup. The lemonade is mixed with Domaine de Canton, ginger vodka. This is adult lemonade, with a strong lemon taste. Very enjoyable.

  • Scallop Ceviche We are served our first dish of the evening Scallop Ceviche. It is one of their specialyys that evening. It contains fresh local scallops, combined with a watermelon gazpacho. The entire combination sits on top of avocado puree and is garnished with ikrua and sunflower seeds. Gazpacho is essentially cold soup. Traditionally it is tomato based and includes raw vegetables though over the years it has come to include a wide variety of ingredients. Many fruit versions of the soup are available and watermelon is a great fruit to use as it is light and mild. The dish is sweet and refreshing with a unique flavor. The avocado puree at the bottom is smooth and delicious. The scallops are super fresh and hold the flavor of the gazpacho very well. Within the ceviche you pick up on the tomatoes and cilantro. This is a great dish and we easily finish it.

  • Up close.

  • NY Strip Carpaccio Next came the NY Strip Carpaccio. Many places do fish versions of Carpaccio with an Asian flare, but this was the way Carpaccio started - with beef and a mustard sauce. The dish starts with thin slices of NY strip steak that is lightly seared and topped with pickled ramp and a miso mustard sauce. The dish was served with a mix of local frisee greens that was topped with a fried soft boiled egg. Frisee is the outer part of curly endive and a ramp is a type of wild leek that has a thin white bulb on the bottom, resembling an onion, but opens with a flat green leaf on top. Plus for those who do not know, a soft boiled egg is like a hard boiled egg, just not cooked as long so the outside is hard but the yolk is not solid. We crack into the egg and let the yolk run down over everything. We take a bite of everything together and wow. All of the flavors blend seamlessly together. The beef is perfectly cooked, the greens are fresh and crisp, the sauce is tangy with a hint of sweet and the egg is juicy. A very creative and perfectly executed dish that doesn't last for long on our table. (4.5/5)

  • Breaking the egg.

  • Putting it all together.

  • Red Dragon Soft Shell Crab The next dish is Red Dragon Soft Shell Crab. It is fried soft shell crab with a spicy red dragon sauce and a sprinkling of scallions and sesame seeds. The crabs are served with toasted rice cakes. Little fun fact about soft shell crabs. They shed their shells as a reaction to the full moon, rendering themselves as soft shell crabs once a month. Some places utilize special lamps to give the effect of a full moon, forcing crabs to go through this process. However these crabs are harvested locally. The red dragon sauce has a nice heat and a smokiness. The crab has a nice crunch to it. The dish is a little heavy and the sauce is very flavorful, but on the rich side so it could have used a little less.

  • Another angle.

  • Sashimi A plate of sushi and sashimi comes next. Before I get into the fish, I want to mention the presentation. The dish comes wrapped in a giant leaf envelope that is promptly opened tableside. Very creative and very cool. Now for the fish. We are served Alaskan King Salmon, Uni, Kumamoto Oyster Sushi, Tuna Ceviche Sushi, Fluke, Octopus and Torched Striped Bass. Most of the fish (oysters, tuna, fluke, bass) is local and here is a breakdown of each.

    Alaskan King Salmon The Alaskan King Salmon is super fresh. Compared to other varieties of salmon, the taste is more clean and pure. It is the best salmon we have had to date

    Fluke The Fluke had a crisp taste and it had the slightest bit of wasabi to hold it on the fish, which was subtle. Fluke is a white fish and a member of the flounder family, with more of a bland taste.

    Octopus The Octopus is chewy, but softer when compared to other places that have served us this fish. At Sen their octopus is not pre cooked and they cook it with daikon, green tea and kelp. It is slightly juicy and has a flavor that comes across a little like ginger.

    Striped Bass The Striped Bass is very tasty. It is a firm white fish with a smoky flavor due to the light torching it received. It is unlike any bass we've had.

  • Kumamoto Oyster Sushi Next was Kumamoto Oyster sushi. These oysters are known for their deep shells and slightly fruity flavor. We have eaten oysters as sashimi and of course served in their shells but we have never had them sushi style before. The sushi is diced oysters served in a light garlic butter sauce on top of a small amount of rice and wrapped in nori. It is delicious.

  • Tuna Cevichei The Tuna Ceviche Sushi is incredibly tasty. The vegetables used in the ceviche are subtle in taste but add a nice crunch.

  • Uni The Uni, Sea Urchin, is fresh and tasty. It has a smooth taste and not aftertaste at all, which can happen if not fresh. The fish is round and covered with prickly spines, Google it if you have a chance. The fish is considered a delicacy and there are even reports in Japan that the roe from an urchin once sold for $450/kg.

  • Alaskan Wild King Salmon We are brought a filet of Alaskan Wild King Salmon. We are informed that the salmon was flown in fresh from Alaska that morning. It is served in a red pepper vinaigrette with garlic pesto and purple scallions. The fish is placed on top of a rainbow slaw. The dish is a beautiful mix of colors and flavors. The thick fish is perfectly cooked with a crisp outside. The pesto is robust, the vinaigrette is light and the slaw is crispy and appetizing. They put a lot of thought into their dishes and it shows. This is a special offered that evening and it is absolutely delectable.

  • Side shot.

  • Torched Salmon We next move onto sushi rolls. We are brought the Torched Salmon, The Jalapeno and the Lobster Salad Roll. The Torched Salmon is a California roll (crab, avocado and cucumber) inside with torched salmon on top. It is then drizzled with a misto mustard sauce. The roll is soft and smoky and the salmon is very bursting with flavor. The crab in the California roll is fresh and light, not imitation.

  • lobster
  • Jalapeno Roll The Jalapeno Roll is cucumber, daikon, asparagus and scallion inside. It is topped with alternating strips of salmon and tuna and thin slices of jalapenos. Daikon, Japanese for "large root" is a member of the radish family. It is very crunchy with a mild flavor. Overall the roll is quite crunchy between the vegetables and the jalapenos. The jalapenos give off a serious heat and mask the other flavors a tad. We both prefer the salmon topping to the tuna. This is a good, crunchy, spicy roll, but lacks a little flavor.

  • Lobster Salad Roll The last roll is our favorite of the bunch, The Lobster Salad Roll. Inside is fresh lobster salad and cucumber. It is topped with strips of fried sweet potatoes, black tobiko and small pieces of fried onions. The lobster salad is creamy and incredibly yummy. The onions and sweet potatoes add a bold flavor which plays well with the sweet lobster. This roll is a very appetizing choice.

  • Toro Sashimi We are nearly bursting, but are treated to Toro Sashimi. By chef's recommendation it is accompanied by a special soy sauce to dip in. The soy sauce is a mix of tamari and white soy. White soy sauce is a mix of soybeans and wheat in a specific ratio, giving it a different characteristic. The soy sauce is lighter and slightly sweeter than typical soy sauce. The fish is unbelievably luscious. It is soft, buttery, oily and beyond fresh. . A must order. There is always room for dessert, well usually, and we are served a "Green Tea Dessert Sampler". It is composed of green tea ice cream, mochi green tea ice cream and mochi green tea mousse.

  • Green Tea Ice Ceam The Green Tea Ice Cream is light and smooth, with an understated sweet flavor. It is the perfecting ending to a meal

  • Mochi Green Tea Ice Cream The Mochi Green Tea Ice Cream is the same green tea ice cream described above but it is wrapped in mochi. Mochi is sweet Japanese rice cake. The wrapping gives the dish a slight chewy exterior and adds a little extra sweet, but soft, flavoring.

  • Green Tea Mochie Mousse The Green Tea Mochi Mousse is layers of Green Tea Mousse and Mochi. It is very light and airy. Mousse is typically made from eggs and cream and incorporates air bubbles in its preparation to render it airy and light. A good, fluffy dessert that is not overly rich.

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