With the Pandemic Still Raging, Italian-Japanese Fusion Premieres in Nolita

Roe Roe Roe Roe Spaghetti (Image: Kimika)

Just when you start believing the reports of the New York dining scene’s demise, a flicker of hope comes along. Say hello to Kimika, which opened in Nolita two weeks ago.

If the novelty of a restaurant opening at the height of the coronavirus pandemic isn’t enough to command your attention, its menu — a blend of Japanese and Italian cuisines (they call it Itameshi, a portmanteau of Italian and meshi, Japanese slang for “meal”) — should.

TimeOut quotes co-founder Erika Chou as saying, “At this point, with things getting so much better in New York City, we decided to go for it. Life needs to go forward. Things are happening in New York, and we can be creative in safe ways.” Which is perhaps another way of saying that, for now at least, outdoor dining is the only option.

Naturally you can’t have Italian food without pasta, and here fat spaghetti is combined with tobiko, mentaiko, ikura, bottarga and shiso. Ask for the dish by saying, “Roe Roe Roe Roe Spaghetti, please” — if you can bring yourself to do it without laughing.

Shishito peppers stuffed with homemade Italian sausage, sweet soy, and pickled onions will induce less culture shock than its ingredient list might imply.

Kimika, 40 Kenmare Street, 212 -256-9280.