545 Lorimer Street
(between Ainslie St & Devoe St)
Brooklyn, New York 11211
Cuisine: Japanese, Ramen
Our Rating: ★★★★ Great
Cards: Cash Only
Price: Entrees $10-$13, rolls $7-9
Hours: Tue-Sun 6 pm – 12 am
Booze: Full Bar
Subway: L Train to Lorimer, G to Metropolitan
NY Mag says:
Japanese corner spot Suzume’s owners did their space up in thrift-store style, from a wood-panel bar to a chandelier that looks like it could have appeared on a late-seventies Stevie Nicks album cover. A small menu embodies the same nonchalance: Basic sushi rolls are fuller and more flavorful than most, with spicy salmon and avocado melting together beneath a mild mayo sauce enlivened by charred shishito peppers. The best item here is also the most basic: House ramen consists of delicious chunks of braised, fatty Berkshire pork belly and tasty thin wheat noodles. Individual small plates don’t work as well: A strong ginger yogurt sauce masks the spicy flavor of tiny, butter-coated wings. An uneven house cocktail list features a unique sake hot toddy alongside oddities like the “Muddy Manny,” a meeting of tamarind, celery seed, and chili sauce in a tall glass rimmed with peanut butter.
When the weather gets this cold there are few things as lovely as a bowl of hot something, be it chili or ramen. And for those whose hearts skip a beat at the sound of slurping noodles, good news! Williamsburg’s newest restaurant, Suzume, is here to help. A tiny 30-odd-seater right off the Lorimer G/L stop, Suzume (sparrow in Japanese) opened last week and is already filling up quick. The restaurant boasts a good pedigree; the owners also run Maggie Brown and The Emerson and include Momofuku vet Michael Briones. The menu itself is tastefully basic with a few sustainable sushi options ($5 for a piece of sushi, $7.50 for three pieces of sashimi, rolls between $7-9), a couple of small plates (the $6 roasted potatoes with spicy mayo are lovely) and a handful of types of ramen priced between $10 and $13. And about that ramen! While the broths we tried weren’t as intense as you might find at say, Ippudo, they were incredibly tasty and perfect on a cold winter night (the salmon broth was just the right amount of fishy). And if you are a veggie or a pescetarian, don’t worry—there are ramens available for you too (though the vegetarian Charred Apple Noodle ramen is a cold one, our waitress warned). We didn’t get any food pictures (the restaurant is pretty dark and taking pictures of your food while at a communal table—there is one—is tacky, no?) but you can get a sense of what the ramen looks like here.
Meanwhile the decor is simple and chic with lots and lots of dark wood, low-hanging fixtures with the de rigueur Edison bulbs (some of them are frosted!) and two huge picture windows. Best of all? Even when the place is full the noise level never gets so bad as to make conversation a hassle.