The Sushi | Bar Omakase 17-course experience is popping up at Tender Mercy in downtown Dayton at the end of June.
Omakase is a Japanese term that means “leave it up to you” or “chef’s choice,” said Sushi | Bar Executive Chef Ambrely Ouimette.
“It is typically a coursed-out meal where the chef of the restaurant will create a menu based off of seasonal ingredients in the area or the freshest items that they will put their own spin on. Typically, it is a mix of sashimi and nigiri appetizers,” Ouimette said. “Nigiri is sliced fish over rice and as simple as that sounds there is lot of work that goes into each tiny bite sized piece. Our chefs will take you through a curated experience letting you know all about the bites before you indulge. There may be some pieces that surprise you!”
Sushi | Bar first opened in Los Angeles and Montecito, California in 2019. In 2020, Adept Hospitality, a partnership between Ryan Stock (a Dayton native), Josh Tohl and Jonathan Husby joined forces with partner Steve Michaels of Asylum Entertainment Group, to expand the Sushi | Bar concept into Austin. The concept has since expanded to Miami Beach and has plans to open in Chicago and Dallas this summer, in addition to three new markets that are in development, Ouimette said.
“We are excited to bring our team to Dayton for the long weekend over June, especially having such a beautiful place to partner with such as Tender Mercy,” Ouimette said. “Dayton has certainly seen some exciting growth and development as it relates to the food and beverage scene. There does indeed seem to be a void in the high-end sushi offerings in the market, so we look forward to the reception of our concept to consumers which will certainly be helpful in consideration of a more permanent opportunity.”
At the Sushi | Bar experience, guests sit in front of the chef and are served by the chef the entire night. Seatings are limited with 10 guests per seating and three seatings per night.
“One of my favorite things about the intimate experience is the closeness I feel to the guests,” Ouimette said. “We are in the hospitality industry, so we thrive on pleasing our guests. If you think about it, most chefs are hiding behind a bar or in the kitchen. You don’t often get to experience face to face and watch the expression of each guest as they taste the pieces that may have taken me months to create. When someone feel emotions from taking a bite it makes me glow and feel elated past anything I can put into words.”
“Omakase simply isn’t being done here, especially at this level,” said Chris Dimmick, co-owner of Tender Mercy. “The experience of sitting down and going on an intimate, chef-lead journey through 17 courses is a unique and especially communal one. You’re on a roller coaster of flavor and texture and emotion shared with the nine other guests you’re dining with in unison. It’s unlike any other dining experience in Ohio and I’m sure it’ll be quite memorable for the few who can snag a seat.”
Tickets are $195 per person. The experience starts 15 to 20 minutes prior to the scheduled seating time with a complimentary welcome cocktail. It is expected to last nearly two hours. The last seating of the night, guests will be able to stay for extra bites as per chef’s choice. Seatings are available Friday, June 23 through Monday, June 26.
Tender Mercy is located at 607 E. Third St., Dayton.
For more information or to buy tickets, click here.