It is amazing anyone can find Sakagura, hidden in the basement of a midtown Manhattan office building with barely a sign to point the way. But for 10 years, a steady crowd has flocked to this restaurant, lured not only by its Japanese inn setting and its food, but also by its impressive selection of 200 sakes.
As Hisaya Kadoi, the manager and sake expert responsible for the selection, points out, premium sake gets its individuality from Yamada Nishiki rice, pure water and special yeast, as well as from the area in which it is made (Kanto or Hokkaido, among other locations). Among terms often found on premium sake labels are ginjo, which means the rice was milled to 60 percent of its original size, and junmai, which refers to sake brewed without additives. Rarely found on a sake label is a vintage date. Whether it is served hot or cold depends on the individual sake.
“About 100 of our sakes can be heated,” Kadoi said. “The rest are too delicate to heat. While some sake has 20 percent alcohol, ours go no higher than 18 percent.”
The first sake I tasted, the extraordinary Otokoyama Dai Ginjo ($29 per glass), was silky and medium dry, its aroma reminiscent of green apple and melon.
Next was Yusura Junmai Ginjo ($14 per glass), which was fresh, fuller-bodied and satiny, with a whiff of melon and yeast.
The third was Ryusei Tokubetsu Junmai ($9 per glass). Tokubetsu is a special, pure rice — and the purer the rice, the more body the sake has. This one was indeed full, dry and rich.
Tentaka Ginsho ($33 a glass) was sensuous, smooth, elegant — a super-premium sake.
I went on to Daruma-Masamune ($35 per glass), an aged sake that blends four vintages, the oldest being 1972. It was liquid velvet the color
of cognac, with a hint of caramel.
We finished with Tokimeki ($28 per 300-milliliter bottle) — sweet, light and sparkling, with 8 percent alcohol — a lure for Japanese youth who are drinking less sake. A delightful introduction, yes, but wait until the young discover the real thing.
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Though air travel slowed as airports temporarily closed and borders shuttered to stifle the spread of coronavirus, the airline industry — led by oneworld alliance member airlines — enacted enhanced protective measures to reduce risk and protect passengers.
I had just taken off my sandals, stepping onto the white-sand beach for a late-morning walk to a secluded spot I heard about from a front desk clerk, when I glanced down and saw the time on my phone. It had just turned 11 a.m., which meant it was only 7 am back home, the perfect time to call and say good morning to by husband before he left for work. Not quite ready to head back to my room, I decided I’d test the WiFi signal and made the call as I continued walking toward the shoreline.
San Antonio celebrated 300 years of progress in May 2018. With a clear vision following that anniversary year, the Texan city set its sights firmly on 300 more. While commemorating this milestone, the city underwent a major overhaul to prepare for the next phase in its history.
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When you think of a relaxing spa day, mountains, rivers and view of gorgeous landscapes pop in your head; a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of any city’s booming music and honking taxis. SoJo Spa Club and Hotel gives you the relaxing feeling of being away while still staying close to the busy center of Manhattan.
Dance the night away with Grand Hotel’s Ballroom Dance offer, available May 16–18. Dancers of all skill levels will experience a diverse range of ballroom dance styles, alongside daily breakfast and dinner, a welcome reception and complimentary golf green fees.