The scene has witnessed an explosion, recently, of small, independent restaurants in locales where the best residents could hope for previously was a good wing shop. None, however, is quite like Crane & Turtle, which might easily have been an exercise in hipster self-congratulation—an expensive French-Japanese restaurant in a formerly working-class neighborhood—but instead seems so genuine and charming that you root for it. Makoto Hamamura’s brand of fusion, weaving the flavors and traditions of his native Japan with French techniques, is oddly (and unfortunately) out of fashion in this mash-up-mad food culture of ours. Occasionally, a dish comes across as more idea-in-process than fully realized vision, but the best plates feel both creative and rewarding. GM Elizabeth Parker came from Rose’s Luxury and imbues the operation with feel-good sincerity.
Don’t miss: Hamachi tataki; sea-trout carpaccio; seaweed salad; smoked sturgeon with crème fraîche; “sukiyaki” (braised beef cheek with a quail egg); scallops with grits; miso red snapper.