Home » Kappo Sono, New York, NY, USA

Kappo Sono, New York, NY, USA

by Debra Argen
Chef Chikara Sono - photo by Luxury Experience
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Foodies have a new reason to celebrate with the opening of Kappo Sono restaurant, at 39 East 13th Street (near Union Square) in New York City, as it is the epitome of the art of dining well. Chef Chikara Sono is the creative culinary talent at the helm of the 12-seat counter space where elegance begins with the attractive ambience and continues with his impressive cuisine and impeccable service by the team. Located on the sixth floor of the Westerly Building with stunning views of New York, Kappo Sono is a Japanese kaiseki restaurant with traditional multiple courses and only one-seating each evening to provide the utmost attention and care to its guests. Dining at Kappo Sono is a memorable gastronomic experience and is perfect for celebratory occasions or for whenever you want to spend a few hours and immerse yourself and enjoy the art of dining well.

I had the pleasure of dining at Kappo Sono on Wednesday, June 26, 2024, before its public opening on July 5, 2024, and was impressed from the moment I walked in the door. Gracious hospitality began with a welcome by the Beverage Manager Leo Lê as I was escorted in the elevator to the penthouse. The restaurant is stunning with a gorgeous mélange of wood elements on the wall, on the floor, and the 12-seat counter. A wall of windows behind the chef space opens onto an attractive terrace with four gold tables flanked by curved back chairs and lined with trees and topiaries in terra cotta pots to create a sumptuous garden against the cityscape of New York.

Chef Chikara Sono - photo by Luxury Experience

Chef Chikara Sono

Originally from Hokkaido, Japan, Chef Kappo Sono is a celebrated practitioner of the art of kaiseki. He honed his craft first in Japan, and then later in the United States when he came to New York City in 1986. His accolades are many and his previous restaurant, Kyo Ya in the East Village of New York garnered a Michelin star and three New York Times stars for a decade. With Kappo Sono, he continues the tradition of gastronomic excellence.

Chef Chikara Sono - photo by Luxury Experience

Chef Chikara Sono

The art of dining well is not just about the food, it is a memorable sensory experience that excites and engages all the senses. It is about taking time out of one’s day to devote oneself to the appreciation of food and the exceptional artistry of the chef. From its stunning ambience with its minimalistic and elegant design, to the small details that draw the eyes, Kappo Sono delivers a memorable experience for its guests. On the night I dined at the restaurant, there was a lovely ikebana arrangement of red and green anthurium leaves gracing one end of the counter space, and another stunning ikebana floral arrangement of sunflowers, green leaves, and fuchsia orchids at the opposite end that created a gracious ambience.

Kappo Sono – Kaiseki Menu – July 2024

Garden Vegetables
With Onion Dressing

Sesame Tofu & Seafood in Dashi

Madai Sushi
Hairy Crab & Muscat Mixed with Tofu Sauce

Shrimp Mousse in Leek with Dashi Soup

Bluefin Tuna with Natto Soy Sauce
Fugu Sashimi with Ponzu Sauce

Grilled Beltfish on Hot Stone
With Fermented Bonito Belly Sauce

Wagyu Tongue Roast Beef Style
With Caramelized Miso Sauce

Hashi Yasume
Peter Corn Sorbet

Softshell Turtle Wrapped Rice Paper
In Suppon Soup

Ayu Pâté on Kuzu Chips

Kobujime Prawn, Tomato, Spaghetti Squash,
With Crushed Dashi Jelly

Unagi over Rice, Burdock Paste, Pickles,
& Miso Soup

Amami: Desserts by Norie Uematsu
Alphonso Mango Parfait
Butterfly Mille-Feuille
Blueberry Mizu Manju
& Green Tea

Haute level service began with a cool cloth presented on a wood plate to refresh, followed by a glass of Y by Yoshiki x Pommery Champagne Brut, a gorgeous champagne presented in its signature gold bottle. Made with a blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Meunier, the champagne was a pale golden yellow with delicate bubbles, and floral notes on the nose and palate.

Course after course was beautifully and artistically presented, and the ability to observe Chef Chikara Sono in action creating them was like taking a master class in the art of Japanese cuisine as he interacted with each of the guests as he explained the components of each of the courses. Every detail was well thought out with handmade pottery sourced on a recent trip to Japan, along with the exquisite bowls, trays, and glassware.

Sakizuke - Sesame Tofu & Seafood in Dashi - photo by Luxury Experience

Sakizuke – Sesame Tofu & Seafood in Dashi

One of the many highlights of the Kaiseki dinner included the Sakizuke – Sesame Tufu & Seafood in Dashi, presented in a gold rimmed covered faceted glass on a delicate ruffled plate with a mother of pearl spoon. Removing the cover, tiny pink flowers danced on the foam to create an enchanting course. Chikirun ‘Otoro” Namazake Junmai Gingo Genshu Sake from Japan, 15-16% alcohol, was the course pairing. Biscuity aromatics and cherries on the nose and palate made it a delectable pairing. Interesting to note about this sake was that the company was founded in 1867.

Otsukuri Bluefin Tuna with Natto Soy Sauce, Fugu Sashimi with Ponzu Sauce - photo by Luxury Experience

Otsukuri Bluefin Tuna with Natto Soy Sauce, Fugu Sashimi with Ponzu Sauce

Other highlights included Otsukuri – Bluefin Tuna with Natto Soy Sauce, Fugu Sashimi with Ponzu Sauce presented in a ruffled pottery bowl with freshly made wasabi paste nestled on a Japanese maple leaf; and Hassun – Madai Sushi, Hairy Crab & Muscat Mixed with Tofu Sauce, decadently topped with caviar, and garnished with an ice plant leaf. Presented on a wood tray on a fern leaf, the sushi was wrapped in a banana leaf and tied into an exquisite package, to accompany the crab.

Hassun Madai Sushi Hairy Crab & Muscat Mixed with Tofu Sauce - photo by Luxury Experience

Hassun Madai Sushi Hairy Crab & Muscat Mixed with Tofu Sauce

Owan – Shrimp Mousse in Leek with Dashi Soup was attractively presented in a covered silver bowl. Pickled chard stems and greens were a colorful garnish and added another intricate flavor profile to this well-executed and developed course. The pairing wine for this course was Domaine Leflaive, Mâcon-Verzé 2022, Chardonnay, 13% alcohol, from Bourgogne, Mâconannais, France.

Owan Shrimp Mousse in Leek with Dashi Soup - photo by Luxury Experience

Owan Shrimp Mousse in Leek with Dashi Soup

Yakimono – Grilled Beltfish on Hot Stone with Fermented Bonito Belly Sauce. This was another exquisite pairing where artistry and flavors culminated in sensory appeal, as the fish was presented on a round hot stone placed on top of small, smooth colorful pebbles on a handmade pottery plate.

Yakimono - Grilled Beltfish on Hot Stone with Fermented Bonito Belly Sauce - photo by Luxury Experience

Yakimono – Grilled Beltfish on Hot Stone with Fermented Bonito Belly Sauce

Also memorable was the Tomezakana – Kobujime Prawn, Tomato, Spaghetti Squash with Crushed Dashi Jelly presented on a colorful plate that highlighted the mélange of colors of the thinly sliced yellow and red tomatoes, the prawn, and dashi jelly, garnished with tiny plum-colored flowers.

Other sake pairings included Isojiman Junmai Daiginjo Sake ‘Pride of the Seashore’ founded in 1830, a delicious and dry sake, made from Kanata Nishiki rice milled to 50%, with 16-17% alcohol, and Kuheiji, ‘Sauvage’ Junmai Daiginjo 2022, a clean, crisp, and sweeter sake with melon, apple, and floral notes. Interesting to note is that the company was established in 1647.

Other perfect wine pairings included Louis Latour, ‘Les Chaillots’ Aloxe-Corton Premier Cru 2020, Beaune, Cote d’Or, France, and Aruga ‘Branca Pipa’ Yamanashi Koshu 2019 from Japan.

As the kaiseki dinner progressed, daylight turned to dusk, candles illuminated the terrace, and the Billie Holiday song, Our Love is Here to Stay, played in the background, and my thought was, indeed, my love is here to stay at Kappo Sono.

Pastry Chef Norie Uematsu - photo by Luxury Experience

Pastry Chef Norie Uematsu

Pastry Chef Norie Uematsu finished the gastronomic evening with a stunning trio of sumptuous, elegant, and delectable pastries. The first dessert was Alphonso Mango Parfait, a 3-D dessert presented in a tulip glass and crafted with hand-rolled mango rosettes, tiny alyssum flowers, and gold flake crowning yogurt whipped cream, mango sorbet, and a delicious crumble that was a perfect bite of flavors and textures.

Alphonso Mango Parfait - photo by Luxury Experience

Alphonso Mango Parfait

The next dessert was a delicate Butterfly Mille-Feuille, made with honey tuille baked in the shape of butterflies layered with pastry cream and banana. The dessert was presented with a small knife, which Pastry Chef Norie instructed guests to place along the middle of the butterfly and press down on the dessert to make the butterfly wings “fly.” Subtle flavors and a gorgeous presentation made this dessert exceptional.

Butterfly Mille-Feuille - photo by Luxury Experience

Butterfly Mille-Feuille

The last sweet taste for the evening was a Blueberry Mizu Manju & Matcha Green Tea. This traditional Japanese dessert paired blueberries, yuzu, and lavender for an exquisite mélange of floral and fruity flavors.

From start to finish, dining at Kappo Sano was a treasured, memorable experience of haute gastronomy at its finest complemented by the artistry and gracious hospitality of Chef Chikira Sono and his exceptional team. I look forward to dining there again and basking in its magical ambience. If you love Japanese cuisine and the art of dining well, dinner at Kappo Sono is “a must.” Be sure to make your reservation well in advance. Arigato! Until next time, Bon Appetit!

Chef Chikara Sono - photo by Luxury Experience

Chef Chikara Sono

 Kappo Sono Team

Chef Chikara Sono
Norie Uematsu, Pastry Chef
Leo Lê, Beverage Manager
KwangHo Lee, Managing Operator

Kappo Sono Hours: The restaurant does one-seating only at 6:30 pm from Wednesday through Saturday, and Sunday at 5:30 pm.

Dinner Service: “Dinner begins promptly at 6:30 pm (5:30 pm on Sundays) when all guests are seated. Please arrive by 6:15 pm (5:15 pm on Sundays) at the latest to refresh and situate yourself before dinner starts.”

Reservations: “Kappo Sono releases reservations daily on Resy at 12:00 pm, 21 days before your desired date. Regrettably, we cannot accept reservations through email or messages on social media for parties with less than 9 guests. Reservations are prepaid and nonrefundable and cover Chef Sono’s kaiseki course. Due to the intricacies of Kappo Sono’s experiences, we regrettably cannot accept walk-ins.”

Resy Website: https://resy.com/cities/new-york-ny/venues/kappo-sono?date=2024-07-03&seats=2

Kappo Sono Pricing: $350 per person, Alcoholic Pairing: $175, Non-Alcoholic Pairing: $125.

Dress Code: “Kappo Sono’s dress code is elegant and chic. Jackets are highly recommended. Shorts are prohibited. Please refrain from denim, athletic-wear (tee-shirts, sweats, sneakers), and open-toed shoes. Please remove hats upon arrival to Kappo Sono.”

Parking and Transportation Information: The restaurant is accessible by MTA Subway and there is a parking garage nearby as well as metered and free street parking.

Please visit Kappo Sono’s website for more information: https://www.kapposono.com/

Kappo Sano logo

Kappo Sono
39 East 13th Street, Penthouse
New York, New York 10003
Email: hello@kapposono.com
Website: https://www.kapposono.com/
Facebook: www.facebook.com/kapposono
Instagram: www.instagram.com/kapposono

Follow Luxury Experience on Facebook at www.Facebook.com/LuxuryExperience to see photos and videos.

Follow Luxury Experience on YouTube at @edwardnesta9910 @luxurypair

Follow Luxury Experience on Instagram at www.Instagram.com/luxurypair @luxurypair

© July 2024. Luxury Experience www.LuxuryExperience.com. All rights reserved.

Related Articles