Culture ~ Bar Goto

After devoting a few years at Pegu Club, talented owner Kenta Goto unveiled a new summer destination this week in New York.

The Lower East Side welcomed Bar Goto as a Japanese style cocktail bar accompanied by delicious dishes.

From the moment of arrival, there’s a bouncer checking ID – like you really need it but in we go. Dim lighting and moderate conversations fill the space around the dark furnishings. Bar stools or small tables are the option for seating.

The bar menu consists of quintessential Japanese beers and creative cocktails with an Asian twist including sake, wasabi, shochu and miso. Try the sakura martini or matcha milk punch to cool down. My drink of choice was the watermelon cucumber cooler shown below, a very light and refreshing mix.

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For food, chef Kiyo Shinoki prepares comfort bites such as tasty kobu celery and spiced miso wings. Practice using those chopsticks! Then the okonomiyaki (grilled as you like in English translation) is the highlight of the visit. These savory pancake small plates are offered in five different varieties. My choice was the Fisherman’s (octopus, shrimp and squid) accompanied by ginger and bonito flakes photographed above. To be fair, it was the best I’ve had outside of Tokyo.

If you’re looking for a Friday night lounge, quick drink with a colleague or first date venue, this Japanese restaurant is the place to be. Walk ins are welcome, enjoy!

Address: 245 Eldridge Street bet East Houston and Stanton Street. Tel: 212 475 4411

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