About Donguri Restaurant
Donguri was first opened in March 1998, by Chef Proprietor Shuji Fujita and his wife, Michiko. Despite being located a distance away from the midtown area, Chef Fujita’s culinary talent and Michiko’s warm and attentive service, brought a loyal following to this neighborhood restaurant earning it an excellent reputation in the New York restaurant scene.
In 2005, the Fujitas’ decided to return to their homeland in Japan. Chef Fujita called upon Hitoshi Kagawa, whom he had once mentored at Seryna Restaurant, to continue the legacy of Donguri. In May 2005, ITO EN acquired the restaurant and appointed Chef Hitoshi Kagawa to take on this honor.
Today with Chef Kagawa’s exceptional culinary skill and commitment to using the finest seasonal ingredients, his artistic presentation and dynamic dishes are a perfect balance of Japanese cuisine accented with Western influences. Offering daily specials and Omakase dinners in addition to a set menu, all dishes feature the freshest sashimi and market fresh ingredients.
Donguri, meaning “acorn” in Japanese, has an intimate setting with 24 seats. The brickwalled interior is adorned with the artwork of renowned Japanese painter& illustrator, Shomei Yoh.
A toy squirrel sits along the windowsill serving as a mascot to Donguri. Now a favorite among the neighborhood children.
Zagat Survey 2012
Though “unassuming” and “smaller than small” this UES “authentic” Japanese impresses with “attentive-but-not-intrusive” service and “lovely”, distinctive specialties from the Kansai Region-notably udon, soba and “super-fresh sashimi” (“no sushi”); connoisseurs “marvel” at the “complexity of flavors”, but warn “you pay for it.”
Rating: Food 27/Decor 17/Service 25
The Michelin Guide 2011
"With just 24 seats, Donguri has a minimalist décor and is lovingly attended by a polite team. Deliciously straightforward preparations may include wonderfully fresh sashimi (though no sushi); flash-fried and sublimely crunchy sweet-corn tempura; rice bowls of grated mountain yam, luscious sea urchin from Maine, and yuzu zest; or a refreshing finale of grapefruit gelee, honey-sweet and blushing pink."