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Eat and Drink

Sushisamba, Nobu and more NYC restaurants offer perfect sushi and vodka pairings

You've run out of Girl Scout cookies to pair with wine, so here's your new favorite pairing: Vodka and sushi.

Sure, you could grab a handle of vodka and some takeout sushi and turn on the Netflix, or, instead, you could head out on a date night for some of the city's best, previously undisclosed combinations.

Better yet,'s annual Singles in America study shows that going out for sushi ups your chance of a second date by 107 percent and you're 137 percent more likely to go out again if you have cocktails.

New York bartender Louie Estrada of Gold Bar paired up with us to match your sushi and vodka cocktails in NYC after you swipe right.

Here's where to make your date night reservations.


At CATCH, head to the rooftop and order
Photo Credit: Catch

At CATCH, head to the rooftop and order the Athena -- Belvedere Mango Passion, Thai basil, lemon and orgeat (syrup made from almonds and rose water) -- and get ready to gorge on sushi. Estrada recommends a classic, the spicy crunchy hand roll, made with yellowtail, Sriracha mayo, tobiko and chives, because it pairs well with the cocktail's acidity.

Try an order of black cod lettuce wraps with bourbon miso, kaitifi and Shiitake mushroom to bring out some of the more subtle orgeat tones in the drink. For a brightly flavored pairing, go for the seared tuna. "Think of seared tuna with a mango relish salsa, which is basically coming from the cocktail, subtle but packed with flavor," Estrada said.

21 9th Ave.,

Nobu 57

Order the off-the-menu blood orange martini made with
Photo Credit: Nobu 57

Order the off-the-menu blood orange martini made with elit vodka and a special blood orange puree, bright and citrusy for spring. Estrada recommends pairing it with citrus-packed seafood dishes: Kumamoto oysters with Maui onion salsa, lobster ceviche and Arctic char with spicy cilantro sauce.

"Arctic char has characteristics of salmon and is a mild flavored fish. Here, you get most of your flavor from the cilantro and blood orange, which helps cut the spice from the sauce. I think that it's a great marriage of flavors and texture," Estrada said. He also recommends ordering a side of Shishito peppers because "any well-balanced cocktail goes well with Shishito peppers."

40 W. 57th St.,


Order the Tom Yam -- made with coriander,
Photo Credit: Sushisamba

Order the Tom Yam -- made with coriander, ginger, lime leaf and chili, served long and spiked with vodka -- along with any nigiri that tempts your palate.

Add an order of sweet corn kakiage in black truffle sauce, because "Truffle goes with anything. Think tom yam soup meets corn and shaved truffle. BOOM!" Estrada also recommends the flash-fried Japanese river crabs. "I think the cooling, fiery aspect of this cocktail balances well with the subtle yet flash-fried crab," he said.

87 Seventh Ave. S.,

Mira Sushi & Izakaya

Order L'orange is the New Black, made with
Photo Credit: Grey Goose / Mira Sushi

Order L'orange is the New Black, made with Grey Goose l'Orange, Asian pear, mulled white wine and Amaretto, and go for the Miso Over You roll, which is made with spicy white tuna, salmon, yellowtail and miso yuzu. Estrada said this punny pairing brings a lot of complex flavors together. "The citrus from the yuzu, the nuttiness from the Amaretto, the spices in the mulled wine, the subtle flavor of yellowtail and the orange-infused vodka makes me want this right now," he said. If you're craving something meaty, the pork buns with peanut powder and hot stone Kobe beef cooked table-side also pair well this this cocktail.

46 W. 22nd St.,


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