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March 24, 2008

Sushi Itto grand opening …?

Sushi Itto is getting closer to serving up sushi and Japanese cuisine in downtown Rochester. Teresa McCormack put up this banner amid heavy winds Friday night.

It sounds like the grand opening is slated for April 1 (April Fools!). A soft opening is not scheduled yet, but it should happen a few days before the grand opening bash.

Here's some from a story I have in today's business section:

It might be served raw, but Alex Schwartzman believes sushi will heat up downtown Rochester. 032108sushiittojk

When Schwartzman decided to open a restaurant in Rochester, he looked for an underserved niche.
“I did my homework,” he said standing in the red and black restaurant with textures. “And there just wasn’t sushi.”

So he decided to open a Sushi Itto Japanese cuisine restaurant in downtown Rochester.

The doors will open at 318 S. Broadway for a grand opening at noon on April 1 with a “soft opening” happening a few days before, he said.

How will they help make Midwesterners who might be not be quite ready for sushi or the idea of eating raw fish feel comfortable?

“First, we are serving Japanese cuisine with many, many other things beside sushi," says Operations Manager Nick Eklund. “We have something for almost everybody.”

That means salads, soups, tempura (deep-fried) dishes and lots of varieties of rice offerings.

And expect full bar offerings served from behind a dark, shiny counter with funky, red-and-black lights above. The decor with many textures like exposed brick walls, wood decorations and stylish light fixtures reflects sushi’s mix of traditional and modern flavors and textures.


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I think they open today

Yes, they are open. Just came back from an extended lunch there.

First of all, let me just say that the food was WONDERFUL. I had the Summer Roll and it was outstanding for flavor and very fresh. The restaurant itself is very attractive. They have not yet had their Grand Opening and are still working out many kinks. We went into the experience with the expectation that not everything would be perfect. However, we waited for over an hour for our 2 simple rolls and no one other than our waitress approached us to apologize or explain the wait time. I actually approached the manager as we were leaving to give him feedback on the amazing food and the unacceptable wait. He seemed genuinely concerned about our dissatisfaction and offered to "take care of us" when we return. It still would have been nice to receive that kind of attention while waiting though.

We will definitely go back as the sushi was outstanding!

Of course it was very fresh, they went out to catch the carp in the creek behind the joint while you were waiting. They probably had to wait for the grass to grow another milimeter so they could cut it off and wrap it up. I'm looking forward to trying it, thanks for the review.

2 hours of wait time. Ahmm, are there lots of people there?

Are they just learning how to do the Summer Roll after you ordered?

International Buffet's sushi corner sound better choice. Plus they are all you can eat!

The place wasn't too busy when we were there on the 26th. We ended up waiting because the order was place incorrectly into their computer system and the chef didn't push our order up when correcting it. Instead, he made everyone else's first and then our order. Bad judgement on his part.

I don't think I can go to Int'l Buffet...something about it turns me off and I have heard that the sushi isn't very high grade.

That is why restaurants do "soft openings" They open before the garnd opening so they can work out all the issues that come up once you go live. There is a huge learning curve on preparing sushi. I was there again today (late lunch) and Sushi chefs were faster. Couldn't believe the number of take out orders, must have been 5 or so while I was there.

We were there during one of the past weeeknights, 7ish or so. Very busy. The decor was unexpectadely more upscale and urban than even say Origami, FujiYa, or Sakura in the Cities. We like the Sushi Counter so we were seated quickly, though I think there were empty tables. I would guess there were 15 plus staff people. A lot. The only glitch was that they ran out of menus. The graphic package is good, but the font size on the menus is way too small. The food was served quickly. We liked the scorpion roll. One note on the rolls, most seem to come with cream cheese. Is this the Midwest twist? Everyone around us also seemed to be served quickly. There were a number of single people at the counter. The restaurant is a very nice addition to Rochester.

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