Beef or chicken? The restaurateur Simon Kim now has you covered either way. An owner of the Korean steakhouse Cote is opening what he calls a “fried chicken cathedral,” with a dining room framed by glowing, barrel-vaulted arches that disappear to infinity, thanks to a rear wall mirror. The design is by the Rockwell Group, involving David Rockwell’s personal touch. But the food is Mr. Kim’s idea, more than four years in the making, with the executive chef Seung Kyu Kim in charge (no relation to the owner, though the two met while working at Jean-Georges). Simon Kim’s notion is to offer a mix of American and Korean approaches to fried chicken and give it glamour with (supposedly) more sustainable ingredients in a more elegant setting. At Coqodaq it’s one-size-fits-all, a $38 dinner that includes chicken soup; a bucket of chicken parts fried in a gluten-free batter based on rice flour, chicken glazed with gochujang or soy and garlic; a cold perilla noodle dish; banchan, small dishes, that include palate-cleansing white radish; and soft serve frozen yogurt. Starters (extra) include some seafood options. The chickens are pasture-raised in Pennsylvania Amish country, and triple-fried in oil produced in Iowa from fermented Brazilian sugar cane. The name of the restaurant blends French, American and Korean words for chicken. The sommelier, Victoria James, who also curates the wines at Cote, has a wine list that features Champagne, which she and Mr. Kim agree is the ideal beverage for fried chicken. Her list offers 400 of them, and other sparklers by the glass and the bottle. Considering that fried chicken is finger-food, in the front of the restaurant, there’s a hand-washing area with three sinks. Some high-top tables near the entrance are for walk-ins, there’s a long bar, and garage doors will open to an outside patio in warmer weather. Tables at the leather-upholstered booths beneath the arches in the 190-seat room have lazy susans, the better for sharing. (Opens Friday)
12 East 22nd Street, coqodaq.com.
Steve and Christina Jang, the owners of the stalwart Koreatown barbecue restaurant New Wonjo, have made a sharp turn to something quite new: a Korean Chinese restaurant with a mixed menu as it might be interpreted in Seoul. The executive chef, Segun Song, has had years of experience in Chinese restaurants in South Korea, Australia, Singapore and elsewhere in Southeast Asia. Peking duck is the showstopper, offered whole, half and even adorned with truffles and gold leaf ($155), and as a sample on a set lunch menu ($48). Seoul-style beef soup, cucumber-radish salad, mapo tofu rice bowl, hot garlic chicken, sesame dan dan noodles and several iterations of jajangmyeon, noodles in black bean sauce, are some other choices. The dining room is done in warm tones with rows of booths and tables.
1 East 33rd Street, 646-833-7864, octonyc.com.
The plastic surgeon, oenophile and bibliophile Andrew Jacono has created a showcase for his passions. In partnership with his son AJ Jacono, a writer, he is opening this comfortably plush book-lined den where the volumes are available to peruse or to purchase, and can be enjoyed with a glass or bottle from an astounding list. Bottles range from $58 for Bonny Doon orange wine to $13,450 for 2000 Château Pétrus, and include other Bordeaux, Super Tuscans and California cult cabernets; wines by the glass range from $15 to $240. There are suggestions in bookish categories like Romance, and, for oversize bottles, Epics. Best Sellers suggest books to pair with certain wines. Sandwiches, salads, cheese plates, caviar and pastries, all from Épicerie Boulud, are served. Art lines the walls that are not covered by bookshelves, and a full schedule of readings and other events with authors, movie screenings, tastings, karaoke and game nights are planned. (Wednesday)
54 Mercer Street (Broome Street).
Hidden Leaf Dumpling Bar
Hidden indeed. This spot for dumplings sits beneath Hidden Leaf, the restaurant in the performance venue in the Manhattan West development across from Hudson Yards. And it’s only open for lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays for soup dumplings, bao buns, wonton soup and the like, to eat at a counter or take out.
Mastercard Midnight Theater, 75 Manhattan West Plaza (33rd Street and 10th Avenue), 917-905-2782, hiddenleafnyc.com.