One Cannot Live on Italian Food Alone. (We need sushi, too.)

I wanted to write about any number of Italian wines or restaurants today, but I am distracted by memories of an amazing lunch I had last week in Benicia, California.  My colleagues at the Henry Wine Group introduced me to Matsuri Sushi, and anytime I am in the area I make a point to return.  No doubt about it- this is some good sushi.

There is definitely something purifying about Japanese cuisine: the simplicity of ingredients and the balance of flavors.  I love a simple lunch of fish, a little rice, all flavored with soy and citrus.  This is brain food- the kind of meal that powers the rest of your day with a feel-good buzz.  Matsuri Sushi is one of my favorite places, especially if you can sit at the bar and ask the sushi chef to prepare  a chef’s choice selection (omakase– style).

Another lovely addition to the fresh fish and well-balanced flavors of the food at Matsuri Sushi is their green tea.  I believe this is a Genmaicha tea- green tea flavored with roasted rice.  This nutty, mellow, comforting beverage is one of the most balanced I have encountered.  The aromas of this hot liquid combine toasty popcorn, seawater, sage and fresh-cut grass.  The tea is such the perfect complement to the food, it almost make me forget about all the lovely Italian wines I would also pair with this remarkable sushi… almost.