New York City College of Technology, CUNY

Department of Hospitality Management


Janet Lefler Dining Room




To: Professor Abreu, Director of Service

From: Alvaro Sobrino Gonzalez, Student

Date: September 27, 2018

Re: The New York Times Restaurant Review


In one of the latest articles in the New York Times Restaurant Review, the food critic Pete Wells analyses a unique Japanese inspired restaurant called Shoji. The restaurant is run by the American chef Derek Wilcox, who after spending more than ten years in Japan working in the kitchens of traditional Kaiseki and Sushi restaurants, decided to come back home to delight eaters with his talent and knowledge.

Shoji was established in the heart of TriBeCa as one of Mr. Wilcox’s pop-up locations. After an agreement made with the owner of the premises, Mr. Wilcox was able to set 69 Leonard Street as the Shoji’s definitive home. The restaurant is right next to Church Avenue, but even though this is one of the busiest areas in Tribeca and has the potential to attract hundreds of guests, the establishment features only twelve seats. The twelve seats are arranged around an L-shape bar that harbors the kitchen, in which Mr. Wilcox develops his art. The set up that the chef has chosen allows for an incredibly personal and direct interaction with diners. Not only is the service exclusive, but also the quality of the ingredients used. As Kaiseki dictates, all the ingredients must be fresh and in season and Mr. Wilcox excels at these requirements. Japanese squid in spring and cuttlefish over the summer, he even tracks bluefin tuna that has been caught considering the shoals sustainability. All this attention to detail that Mr. Wells was able to enjoy has a price tag. The multi-course menus offered vary from $190 to $295 and the cheapest beverage is $12, making this restaurant extremely expensive for some.

As Mr. Wells states, this could be considered one of the best options when it comes to seafood quality and chef Wilcox does a good job applying his expertise, but it is uncertain whether this will suffice to keep the restaurant functioning. It will, as long as customers are willing to pay for it.