A Double Date at Hotoke

For a holiday double date, my friends, TK and I decided to head out to Hotoke in Smithtown, New York for dinner with a 6:30 p.m. reservation. Usually, our go-to place for sushi is Sumou in Patchogue, but we thought it would be a good idea to branch out to see what specialty rolls other locations are serving.

Fortunately, when we arrived, the restaurant was practically empty, so we sat ourselves at the bar to wait for our friends. In a matter of five minutes, our friends arrived and we were seated.

We started off with some Pork Gyoza and the Tuna Tower. Being that I was pregnant, I had to abstain from eating any raw fish, so I enjoyed the Gyoza. It was crispy at the edges and salty in the soft center. They enjoyed the Tuna Tower because it was just layer upon layer of soft tuna.

For my entree, I ordered the Beef Negimaki dinner with Steamed Rice, Salad and Soup because I had to eat a completely cooked meal. I asked to substitute the Miso Soup for the Mushroom Soup because I think Miso tastes like dirty water. I just really do not enjoy it and think that the Mushroom Soup has a much better flavor. The salad was cool and fresh with a sweet ginger dressing. When my dinner came, the Beef Negimaki was steaming hot and drenched in the delicious, tangy teriyaki sauce. The rolls were pretty large so I stuffed my mouth every time I lifted my chopsticks. With Japanese food, you just have to muscle through it and not look like a newbie. No one bites sushi, or Beef Negimaki for that matter. Just eat it. I really enjoyed my food, but I couldn’t finish the large portion and didn’t think it was a good idea to take it home either. Who knows how that would reheat?

Everyone else got their fair share of specialty rolls and they were every color of the rainbow. They all looked delicious, but I tried not to look at them too long because I don’t like to torture myself while pregnant. They all loved everything that they ate and each one was more creative than the last. They all tried each roll and I didn’t hear a bad comment from anyone.

To top it off, we all got some yummy dessert. TK and I shared the Peanut Butter Mousse Cake, because we had to (Pregnant, remember?) and our friends got the Cheesecake. We enjoyed our desserts, but our entrees were the highlight of the meal, of course.

Hotoke, 41 Route 111, Smithtown, NY, 631-979-9222.

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