For Two Weeks, Chef Boccuzzi Trades his Kitchen for Sushi Bar at Ginko

click to enlarge For Two Weeks, Chef Boccuzzi Trades his Kitchen for Sushi Bar at Ginko
Courtesy D. Boccuzzi

For the next two weeks, Dante Boccuzzi will find himself in strange but not altogether unfamiliar territory: behind the sushi bar. Each year, Ginko’s head sushi chef Taishi Noma returns home to Kyoto, Japan, for two weeks to visit with family.

Typically, the restaurant is compelled to close the doors during that time. But not this year. Chef-owner Boccuzzi has decided to step in and make an event of it, taking the reins of the popular subterranean sushi bar located below Dante in Tremont.

“This is a vacation for my chef Taishi and myself,” says Boccuzzi. “I’m looking forward to the next two weeks of rice and fish.”

During that time, much of Noma-san’s traditional Japanese sushi and sashimi menu will be put on hold, replaced by a more creative fusion-style menu more consistent with Boccuzzi’s personal style.

So, in addition to popular starters like Spicy Scallop Pringles, guests will be able to enjoy sushi “push pops” filled with hamachi and jalapeno; shrimp, miso and eggplant; and tuna, truffle and foie gras. The Zeppelin is a specialty roll with whitefish, tuna, wasabi mayo, salmon and avocado, and “California Sunshine" is loaded with snow crab, cucumber, avocado and tobiko.

But while the next two weeks (January 13-17, 20-24) do mark the very first time chef Boccuzzi has taken on the head sushi chef role at Ginko, it is definitely not his first time rolling sushi for guests. Back in Valley View, where he owned Dante at the old (and now revived) Lockkeeper’s spot, he hosted the popular weekly Sushi Blues Nights, when he traded in the kitchen confines for the bar, where he twisted up food, fun and one-to-one time with his guests.

Stop by Ginko over the next two weeks for a taste of the good old days. The more traditional Japanese menu returns with chef Noma on January 29th.