Secret Garden the novel (and film), "Secret Garden" the song, and now a secret garden in a restaurant. It's summer and I'll write the ledes I want to.

Naoki, a new restaurant hidden down an alley on West 17th Street, features a secret inner garden, around which sits an L-shaped dining room where chef Jiro Iida will execute a menu of modern Japanese dishes. The garden is a holdover from the space's former life, updated with Yukimi-Shoji screens and washi paper. You can't sit in it, but you can sit around it.

The restaurant is operated by Create Restaurants Holdings, an enormous restaurant group with over 800 restaurants in Asia. Italian restaurants are the thrust of the business, but operator Naoki Takahashi told Eater the group thought a Japanese restaurant would seem more authentic to an American audience, even going so far as to call the cuisine "generic...but this is what Japanese people eat in Japan."

Naoki will offer a multi-course tasting menu ($80) that begins with Hanakago, a collection of eight appetizers served in a basket. From there, diners chose a second course and an entree—Hamachi and Salmon Tempura, Grilled Lobster in Uni Sauce, and Duck & Chicken Kushiyaki were all mentioned in press materials—and the meal concludes with a sushi course.

Dessert is an afterthought at so many restaurants, but it'll be equally as important as the savory courses here (dessert is not included in the tasting menu). Intriguing options include a Soy Milk Cheese Cake topped with Kuromame black beans and crispy rice, and a Taiyaki Apple Pie, a fish-shaped pancake filled with apple pie filling.

311 West 17th Street, 646-861-0086;