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CO-OP Food & Drink, NYC


CO-OP Food & Drink

Executive Chef: John Keller
Sushi Chef: Stephen Wong
Pastry Chef: Mame Sow
Cuisine: American Nouveau, Sushi
Neighborhood: LES
Price: $50 per person (food, tax, tip) + extra for drinks
Address: 107 Rivington St., NYC 10002
Phone:212-796-8040
Hours: Sun-Thu 5pm-2am; Fri-Sat 5pm-3am

Former Nobu & Le Bernardin chef John Keller brings together an eclectic menu of contemporary American dishes with a bit of a Latin and Asian flair, which is then rounded out with a sushi bar from a former Sushi of Gari chef (why not?).  All the dishes are meant to be shared and portions can be adjusted to accommodate to your group size.  The decor is very dark, moody, and trendy… like what would happen if AvroKo (Beauty & Essex, Stanton Social) went for an edgier, gothic vibe.  The space retains the elaborate black chandeliers from its former occupant Thor, but the furniture has been switched out for black leather booths facing a long communal table carved from a single piece of walnut wood.  The wall also hosts a giant photography exhibit of NYC icons all staring straight at you, which can be a bit disconcerting at times.

I feel CO-OP is a bit of a mash-up of every popular hotspot restaurant (particularly Nobu, Beauty & Essex, and Stanton Social) with a menu featuring every popular food trend that has emerged in the past few years (truffle mac n cheese — check, chicken lollipops — check, watermelon and feta salad — check).  However, I am still a sucker for these kind of places, so I really don’t mind having “another” trendy restaurant option to go to with a group of friends.  The bar is lively, the decor is funky, the cocktails are strong, the crowd can be quite easy on the eyes, and the menu has something for everyone (literally because it’s quite random).

My highlight dishes included the lobster shots, watermelon feta salad with jalapeño tzatziki, and the amazu ponzu whitefish tempura.  However, the real stand out at CO-OP was the entire dessert menu.  I am not a big sweets person at all, or at least I wasn’t until Pastry Chef Mame Sow entered my life.  The menu is full of childhood throwbacks reinvented, such as homemade ice cream sandwiches in peanut butter chocolate and salty caramel forms.  I particularly loved the “S’Mores Deconstructed” with creme brulee-esque bowls of chocolate grenache topped with charred marshmallow fluff that you can spoon over graham crackers.  If anything, I would come here just for the desserts!

STARTERS

Lobster Shots
This was my favorite dish here!  Imagine a lobster bisque but in a frothy cappuccino-esque form… amazing!

COLD

Watermelon Feta Salad with Jalapeño Tzatziki, Saba, Mint
The jalapeño tzatziki dressing really made this dish.  Definitely trying to recreate this one at home!

WARM

CO-OP Chicken Lollipops with a  Creamy Sriracha Sauce
Basically sesame chicken in lollipop formdelicious!

Carnitas Tacos with Pork Belly, Aji Panca, Mango-Avocado Salsa
Was a bit underwhelmed by this dish

Peking Duck Steams Buns with Long Island Duck, Hoisin Glaze, Scallions
I think I am just partial to authentic Chinese Peking Duck… the duck in this dish was shredded and a bit overcooked to me

Truffle Mac N’ Cheese with White Cheddar, Manchego, Parmigiano
You can’t really go wrong with truffles and cheese

Amazu Ponzu Whitefish Tempura with Red Onion, Jalapeño, Amazu Ponzu Sauce
This was one of my favorite dishes here… very Nobu worthy!

Aunt Gertie’s Roasted Bone Marrow with Pearl Onion Marmalade, Artisanal Breads
This dish was almost exactly the same as Beauty & Essex’s, even done to the plating…maybe they share the same Aunt Gertie?

DESSERTS

CO-OP Ice Cream Sandwiches
Chocolate Chip & Salted Caramel *drool*, Graham Cracker & Apple Honey, Chocolate & Peanut Butter

S’mores Deconstructed
Graham Crackers, Whipped Chocolate, Marshmallow Fluff *drool* x 2

Apple Bread Pudding
Maple Cider, Candied Almonds, White Cheddar Ice Cream


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