Cote changed the way that New Yorkers interact with their beef, merging a classic American steakhouse with Korean influences. Now Simon Kim, the restaurateur behind that project, is hoping to influence the way diners interact with their chicken, too.
On Friday, Kim and his Gracious Hospitality Management will open Coqodaq, which they’re billing as a cathedral to fried chicken. (Rockwell Group has quite literally designed a sweeping space that may induce awe as you chow down on a bucket of the poultry.) Here, fried chicken is being elevated to the realm of fine dining, with Champagne pairings that may have you popping a bottle at home next time you order some Popeyes delivery.
“Our goal from the start was not to create a perfect recipe, as that doesn’t exist, but to spark joy and connection through delicious food and beverages,” Kim said in a statement. “I wanted to elevate every aspect of this nostalgic dish, offering a unique dining experience that proudly showcases the harmony of Korean and American cultures through fried chicken and America’s largest Champagne list, while offering an option that’s simply better for you.”
The star of the show is Coqodaq’s Signature Fried Chicken Feast ($38 per person). A bucket of gleaming fried chicken, which uses a gluten-free batter blend with rice flour, comes in both original flavors and your choice of soy sauce garlic glaze or gochujang glaze, along with signature sauces. There’s also roasted chicken consommé to start, ban-chan and cold perilla seed noodles on the side, and soft-serve fro-yo for dessert.
Of course, you can also choose to order off the à la carte menu. Appetizers like chicken liver paté and Caesar salad can be paired with tartare or caviar service from the raw bar. Fried chicken is available in smaller amounts (nuggets, drumsticks, wings, etc.), while chicken jan-chi (Korean chicken noodle soup), chicken and curry, and even fish and chips give you options outside the traditional fried-chicken canon. Classic sides like mac and cheese, fries, and coleslaw are rounded out by spicy Korean tteokbokki (rice cakes).
While you may be used to eating fried chicken with beer or soda, Coqodaq is proposing a more elegant pairing: Champagne. The restaurant is aiming to build up the country’s largest restaurant Champagne list, with more than 400 rare and exclusive bottles for the taking. And while there will be a lot of high-priced options, Kim and his team have committed to selling 100 selections of sparkling wine under $100, so that everyone can partake in the party. If bubbles aren’t quite your thing, not to worry—there’s still plenty of wine, beer, and cocktails on the drinks menu.
Over the past few years, dining in New York City has taken a turn toward fun, and Coqodaq’s elevation of fried chicken may be the culmination of that trend. With a drumstick in one hand and a glass of Champagne in the other, how could you not have a good time?