Depending on how you see it, the name of the restaurant Cote can either reference the Korean word for flower or a particular cut of meat. If Cote had its way, it’d want you to reference both. It occupies a unique niche as a hybrid steakhouse and Korean bbq restaurant, never fully claiming one or the other, defined by fluidity rather than labels.
From the moment you walk in, Cote keeps you guessing. The entrance leads to a dark blue hallway with a neon sign of the restaurant’s name in Korean lit in Millennial pink, giving off a vibe that’s more sexy Meatpacking lounge than staid Midtown East. If you walk downstairs you can see Cote’s dry-aging room, where different pieces of meat hang stylistically in lighting that brings to mind the surreal and violent thriller Neon Demon. Once you get seated in one of the booths in the back, you will see familiar signs of a table-top grill, but even so, these grills are gold and silent, sucking the smoke and smells out of sight, out of mind.Read More
At the core of a Korean meal is rice and banchan side dishes. The quality and variety of banchan can really make or break your experience. I know it’s going to be a good day when a restaurant throws in a steamed egg or pan-fried tofu, and on the flipside, it’s always a sad day when all I get is kimchee and some limp bean sprouts. Atoboy, a new restaurant in Flatiron run by Junghyun Park, the former Chef de Cuisine of Jungsik, rethinks the banchan side dish as the main dish, where you can make a meal out of several of them. The menu is divided into three sections of small plates, which is differentiated by portion size, and for $36 you can pick a dish from each one of the sections along with a bowl of rice, the traditional white rice or the rice special of the day for an extra $2. As an fyi, you really should pay up for the rice special, otherwise you will miss out on something amazing like the bacon and scallion rice.Read More