When one is in the mood for a great sake experience, it is a combination of presentation and flare as well as flavor that they seek. Traditionally, it is served in ceramic shot-sized cups with a medium sized decanter holding the slightly warmed sake. The best restaurants will have options for cold Ginjo sake alone or often in creative mixers. Of course, without amazing sushi to accompany the drink, it could not be considered the best. Here are four Keene sake bars that are doing it right.
Located at 360 Winchester St in Keene this is a very central restraunt with ample parking adjacent to the Walmart plaza. It is a hibachi style Japanese steakhouse with a full bar and seating to the right and a sushi bar straight ahead on the other side of the large centered hibachi grills. Very clean and elegant appearance throughout with food on that same level. The staff is friendly and enjoyed helping to find a sake drink to accompany my sashimi. After trying the warmed sake and a “Sho Chiku Bai” Ginjo sake I most enjoyed “Plum Yumm”; a combination of sake and plum wine. All were fantastic, a must visit restraunt in Keene.
Friday and Saturday: 11:30am-10:30pm
In the Center at Keene Mall plaza at 149 Emerald St this sushi focused location was plain in appearance from the outside, but came alive once through the doors. The traditional warmed sake came to the table in the traditional ceramic serving set with delicate leaves embracing the sides. The sushi and sashimi presentation is top notch with the fish arranged as a floral bouquet. There is plenty of parking just outside, and plenty of great food and drink within.
Friday and Saturday: 11:00am-11:00pm
Tokyo Express is a smaller Chinese restraunt on 14 Cypress Street in Keene with some amazing features unique to them. They are open the latest in the area making them convenient to any enjoying the night life of downtown Keene. The artistic abilities of the sushi chefs are unbelievable with some harder to find items on their menus, great for those adventurous types. Orders can be placed online for delivery or park in a Keene area public parking lot to enjoy their cuisine first hand.
Friday and Saturday: 11:30am-11:30pm
Lee and Mt. Fuji
This family run restraunt has the friendliest and most personal atmosphere. Located at 314 Main Street in Marlborough they are just minutes from Keene. As you walk in the door there is lots of bar seating to the right. Behind is one of their sushi chefs happy to make any roll custom to taste. The sake is served warm and they have a good number of drinks including the most popular “scorpion bowl” served with a flaming shot of Bacardi 151. They have their own parking in back of the building. Be sure to give them a try!
Friday and Saturday:11am-10:30pm