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The Charm of Nobu Next Door

New York Fashion Week. It’s a time when the finest and brightest of the city come out to attend the hottest shows, restaurants in trendy neighboorhoods are noisy and packed with gorgeous people, celebrities pour in to be a part of the festivities, and everything is just bustling with an extra dose of excitement.

It’s also a time where some people/venues get a little extra boujie, or in this case pretentious, and getting a simple dinner reservation seems like something you’re just not worthy of. “We only have 5:30 or 10:15 available for dinner,” says the reservationist very matter-of-factly over the phone after one gives up with Open Table and actually calls. Ughhhhh.

So I was pleasantly surprised that I was able to book a res no problem for dinner at Nobu Next Door at the last minute on Saturday, right at the primetime of 8pm. I’ve been to Nobu on 57th before, but never to the TriBeCa location, and I didn’t really understand why this was called “Nobu Next Door.” I had never heard anyone mention it like that, but I just went with it. The menu looked the same and I was salivating just reading through it.

When my friend and I arrived, we walked into Nobu TriBeCa and it was bustling. Loud, packed, high energy – it was exactly what you’d expect. The hostess looked like a model and snootily told us that our reservation was actually for Nobu Next Door, which is literally next door to the main Nobu, and that’s where our res is. I was surprised she didn’t add “duh” to the end of her explanation. Maybe we should’ve known, but we didn’t! The address and building were all the same…what ignorant peasants we were. So we stepped outside, walked barely a few steps to the left, and there was Nobu Next Door.

We walked in, and while the space was still large, it was definitely quieter than actual Nobu, and a little brighter inside. We were a half hour late but there were plenty of tables, and we got seated right away by a more down-to-earth hostess.  The decor was more minimalist but still elegant, and our table was a comfortable corner table where we could people watch all night. Perfectttt.

The menu is the exact same as the main Nobu, with many delicious items to choose from. Definitely try the Fluke Sashimi & Spinach Salad if you go, it’s delicious. The music was amazing and the atmosphere got more and more, for lack of a better word – lit – by the minute. Couples were sipping martinis, large parties of young, beautiful people were making their way to their seats, and by the time me and my friend were wrapping up, the place was legit packed.

I went to use the restroom and while I waited, I read those plaques on the walls that establishments are proud to display, like a stellar review from NY Times or Zagat. Yes, I’m one of those people that reads the plaques. Turns out that Nobu Next Door opened in 1998 (that long ago?!) simply due to the high-demand of the original Nobu and the need for extra space. AKA the kind of problems you want to have in life. You can make reservations if you wish, but you can also just show up and be seated on a first-come, first-serve basis. They also offer Nobu-To-Go, whereas the main location doesn’t. So overall, it’s the same high-quality food with a more informal seating situation and atmosphere. Literally a win win on all fronts.

I really enjoyed my experience at Nobu Next Door, and I encourage you all to check it out one night too, whether on a date or with friends. Take it all in! It’s charming and très chic. I dare you to be bold and don’t even bother making a reservation. You’re boujie like that anyway. 😎

Xx – Rae

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