Even though spring is around the corner—fingers crossed—the infamous Tribeca wind will keep us in coats for a while. There’s only one thing to do: Visit Kori Tribeca, where any number of dishes are sure to appeal—the savory pancakes known as jeon (the seafood-and-scallion one, pictured above, is a highlight), the stew made with bulgoki (grilled marinated beef), and the topoki (roasted spicy rice cakes) are three come to mind. But if you really want to warm up, there are two dishes in particular to seek out….
Kori’s Dolsot Bibimbap
As you probably know, bibimbap is a traditional rice dish with all sorts of delicious steamed vegetables—mushrooms, carrots, balloonflower roots, soybean sprouts, spinach, cucumber, and onions—mixed in. At Kori, you can choose white or brown rice, and then customize it by adding chicken, organic tofu, tuna, or one of the two top sellers, bulgogi (grilled marinated beef), and pork and kimchi; for even more stick-to-the-ribs effect, ask for egg on top, too. The dish is one of the hottest, temperature-wise, in the neighborhood: A dolsot is the stone bowl it’s cooked and served in, so the rice and other goodies arrive at the table audibly sizzling; in the case of the bulgogi bibimbap, the meat comes to the table raw, and your server grills it for you in the dolsot. The rice that ends up crisped at the bottom is the best part, so be sure to scrape off every last bit. And if you also want it spicy hot, don’t forget the trio of condiments (kimchi, seaweed salad, and pickled jalapeño) and the Korean chili sauce known as gochujang or, for those who like it less hot, Kori’s new honey mild miso sauce.
Chicken Janchi Noodle Soup
Kori’s Chef Jack recently came up with a few new items for the menu—salmon tataki, chicken Kang Jung, and more—but the folks at Kori say their very favorite addition is the chicken janchi noodle soup. It’s chicken broth with chicken breast, organic somen noodles, zucchini, carrots, egg, and spinach, and, like the bibimbap, it comes with kimchi, seaweed salad, and pickled jalapeño on the side. Janchi means “feast” or “banquet,” and sure enough, janchi noodle soup is often served at special occasions, such as wedding receptions and birthday parties—because the long somen noodles symbolize longevity in life and marriage, and because it’s delicious.
Cool Cocktails with Satisfying Heat
Ginger has long been known to improve circulation, which makes you feel warmer—in fact, some herb experts even suggest placing ginger powder in your socks on very cold days. But why not have a cocktail made with ginger instead? Kori’s owner makes ginger soju (Korean vodka) right on the premises, chopping roasted ginger root and steeping it in the alcohol. The two most popular cocktails with ginger soju are the Honey Island (which also has honey whiskey, honey, and lemon) and the Ginger Kamikaze (with triple sec and sour mix). Enjoy happy hour Monday through Thursday, 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.: Special $5 cocktail (the kind varies by night), and you also get complementary edamame.
And remember, at Kori, the welcome is as warm as the food! Reserve by calling 212-334-0908 or visiting korinyc.com/contact.html.
Kori Tribeca is at 253 Church (between Franklin and Leonard), korinyc.com.