Kingston After Dark: Real craft

Makio Idesako. (Photo: Jen Maharry)

Makio Idesako. (Photo: Jen Maharry)

This cold weather thing got you down? Well, I am trying to deal with it just like the rest of you. Unless you are a snowboarding maniac who loves bitter wind chill, this is the pits! Then again, growing up I used to always promise myself I wouldn’t endure another New York winter and yet here I am. I think on some levels we should take it as a point of pride and stop whining, Upstate dwellers! This weather gives us character. It also allows me to imagine Tilda Swinton as the ice queen Jadis from Narnia feeding me Turkish delight, but I digress. Speaking of very tasty things, I’m going to take a break from focusing mainly on music this week and make sure you know about a very exciting turn of events, the arrival in Kingston of sushi master Makio Idesako! If you think you have had good sushi before, you haven’t tried the real deal yet until you visit the new Sushi Makio restaurant at 1088 Morton Blvd.

Let me mention that I am biased, but let me explain why it doesn’t matter. For two years I worked alongside Idesako at The Depuy Canal House in High Falls. Idesako was running the award winning Amici Sushi in the historic Depuy building in conjunction with chef John Novi. In the time I spent working with Makio I learned so much about what makes real sushi such a more powerful experience than the popularized, fast-food version of low-grade California rolls that get touted as the real thing. Authentic Japanese sushi is a much more graceful and exacting craft. Idesako is simply brilliant at what he does and Sushi Makio offers Kingston residents a real chance to enjoy affordable yet masterfully made authentic Japanese dishes.

From octopus appetizers to his new “Old Capital Roll” (consisting of spicy tuna, spicy salmon, cucumber and spicy mayo), there are many options to choose from. Chef Makio is highly regarded in both America and Japan for his sushi preparations and has many well-known admirers in the industry including Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, with whom he played baseball in New York City parks when they first came to Manhattan in the ’70s as young men with big dreams. This is, simply put, the best sushi around. When I visited Sushi Makio it was a treat to get fresh, high quality Toro this time of year! I also have to recommend the gorgeous spicy tuna tower. The presentation of every dish is like a work of art, as sushi should be.


One of Chef Makio's dishes. (Photo: Jen Maharry)

One of Chef Makio’s dishes. (Photo: Jen Maharry)

The interior of Sushi Makio is comfortable and clean, a nice environment for a memorable dining experience. The servers are knowledgeable and you may get to even meet Makio’s very nice wife Taeako. Foodies can check out the menu at or at The business is kid friendly and, while currently open from 4-9 p.m., they hope to soon open for lunch. Whatever time you go there it is truly worth it.

Now on a serious note, the Garden Café in Woodstock is one of the best, healthiest places to dine around these parts. Owner Pam is battling cancer and her hospital stay and recovery period have extended far beyond expected. Pam is currently undergoing chemotherapy and focusing on strengthening and rebuilding. To offset mounting medical bills and costs, the cafe will be hosting a silent auction fundraising event on Thursday, Jan. 16 at 7 p.m. at The Colony Café in Woodstock. There will be a $10 charge at the door for music, food, and many items up for auction. Please come out, bid, dance to great music by my dear friends The Gold Hope Duo and Lindsey Webster, have a good time, and help Pam through this incredibly difficult period in her life. So far silent auction items include a $50 gift certificate to Lagusta’s Luscious, a $25 gift certificate to Candlestock, a Wellness Package from Yoga with Patricia which includes two private yoga/aromatherapy/reiki sessions, and much, much more.

Let’s end with some metalcore, kids. This is my column, after all; I’ve got a responsibility to bring you the mosh. (Editor’s note: Yup, it’s in his contract.) This week, against the odds, I wanna plug The Devil Wears Prada. The popular national act sounds much more mature lately than in their early days. They still have a truly terrible band name but I can’t deny they kick ass musically now. Their new album title, 8:18, isn’t from when you have snoozed your alarm clock and now have barely enough time to get to work at 9, but rather a reference to Romans 8:18, which says “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.” Not a bad message. Even if you aren’t religious you can see that it is focused on the good of humanity prevailing. 8:18 is a call to lose ego and embrace a more loving society, anguish and passion screamed out by a frustrated but optimistic vocalist Mike Hranica. I recommend “Sailor’s Prayer”, an 8:18 track that seems to be about restlessly moving on when love is lost, but standing up for yourself.

Do what you are here on this planet for, people. Life is too great a gift to settle for doing something other than your true calling. I hope you all find it.