Sushitini is third recent venture from restaurateur in Montrose

Kevin Kong, Master Sushi Chef of Sushitini in downtown Montrose has nearly 10 years experience in high-end sushi restaurants.

A Dragon Roll with fresh water eel is one of over 20 sushi rolls available at Sushitini in Montrose

MONTROSE — The mid-February opening of Sushitini gives Montrose diners something they couldn’t get in their city previously: made-to-order sushi.

Sushitini, 228 E. Main St., is the third restaurant opened by owner Anthony Damiano, 56, in Montrose in the past year. Damiano’s on Main Street and Cowboy Ciao are his other two creations.

Add to those the culinary academy that Damiano is pursuing in Montrose, and he has been a rather busy entrepreneur in a down economy.

“I’m out of my mind. How many people open three restaurants and a culinary school in a year?” Damiano said with a laugh.

Damiano said Sushitini is Montrose’s first made-to-order sushi restaurant. Other restaurants offering sushi in town receive it already made, he said.

“(Sushitini) is fresh, unique, and a very high-quality product and experience, and is very inexpensive,” Damiano said.

Inside the restaurant, warm earth tones and blacked-out walls lead visitors to Cynthia, the 12-foot, steel dragon hanging from the ceiling. Damiano had it made special for the restaurant, and because it is of such sentimental value to him, he named it.

Korean-born master sushi chef Kevin Kong joined Damiano at Sushitini. Kong was one of Damiano’s first students at the Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Institute in Scottsdale, Ariz., about 10 years ago. He has years of experience turning out rolls and other flavorful works in sushi restaurants in Phoenix.

During the winter months, the vegetables used are grown organically with the use of hydroponics. The seafood is flown in fresh each day from airports in California and Hawaii, Damiano said.

The restaurant can seat 55 people inside, and each table was designed to create the appearance of private dining. Damiano plans to seat 75 people at a time this summer with the use of an outdoor patio.

Damiano recommends a Crunchy California Roll, Tootsie Roll or Dragon Roll from the restaurant’s sushi menu for starters. Sip on a Naked Geisha Martini and try a Chicken Karage dish or a Seaweed Salad from the Asian-cuisine menu.

Damiano received his initiation in the restaurant industry when he was 11 years old, working at his parents’ restaurant on Long Island, N.Y. He has worked in and managed restaurants in Manhattan and Florida and was a culinary instructor in Arizona.

Damiano said he was once Donald Trump’s chef in Palm Beach, Fla. His wife, Lisa, remains the dean of the pastry academy at the Le Cordon Bleu in Scottsdale.

Sushitini is open Tuesday through Saturday, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. For information call 240-1100.


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