This New York City Hotspot Is a Sanctuary for Fried Chicken Worshippers

Securing a highly-coveted reservation at this New York City hotspot is more akin to a spiritual awakening––especially for those with an affinity for fried chicken.

Diners are flocking (pun intended) to COQODAQ, a bold yet refined new concept in Flatiron from the Michelin-starred and James Beard-nominated restaurant group behind COTE Korean Steakhouse, Gracious Hospitality Management.

In collaboration with Rockwell Group, restaurateur and visionary Simon Kim hatched an opulent dining space that marries art nouveau flair with playful nods to the restaurant’s signature dish. 

From the custom handwashing station (a first for the esteemed design firm) to the luxurious yet welcoming dining areas enveloped in the glow of the “ghost arches” created with illuminated glass and bronze, every element takes patrons on a sensory journey.

If COQODAQ’s patrons are a congregation of Korean fried chicken worshippers, Executive Chef Seung Kyu (SK) Kim and his world-class culinary team are surely their gods. Inspired by his upbringing in America and Korea, Chef SK has developed a menu bidding New Yorkers to reconsider their perception of this traditionally indulgent, unhealthy dish.

While the name fuses the French and Korean words for chicken, the restaurant’s ethos centers around the ancient Korean philosophy of Eum-yang, which posits duality as fundamental to the universe’s balance. This is reflected in the design and menu motif that begs the question: “Which came first: the chicken or the egg?”

At a more literal level, the culinary team observes a circle of sustainability, employing a waste-nothing philosophy that demands certified humane, hormone and antibiotic-free chickens, raised free-range in their natural habitat, and fed surplus vegetables. They are then prepared via a clean-fried process exclusively using Zero Acre oil and served with fresh vegetables. 

In keeping with the hospitality team’s convivial approach to dining out, COQODAQ offers its own take on the COTE Korean Steakhouse Butcher Feast™: The Bucket List. This signature smattering (priced at $38 per person) features two of Chef SK’s favorite styles of perfectly crispy chicken: Original and a choice of Soy Sauce Garlic or Gochujang Glazes. Complementing the chicken are warm Chicken Consommé infused with Korean Red Ginseng; a selection of Ban-Chan (pickled seasonal vegetables and scallion salad); Cold Perilla Seed Noodles; and a seasonal Soft Serve Frozen Yogurt for dessert.

While champagne and fried chicken may seem an unlikely coupling, the effervescence of these wines aid in breaking down fats on the palate. With the largest collection in the United States, courtesy of Partner and Executive Director of Beverage Victoria James, COQODAQ invites guests to experience bubbly like never before. An extensive list of over 400 rare and exclusive bottles makes this establishment a mecca for aficionados.

In a further barrier-bending move, a list of “100 Under $100” champagne and sparkling wines breaks down the cost barrier so everyone can truly enjoy this pairing.

Classic caviar service will further enhance any meal, especially atop The 24K Golden Nugget.

From the glorious, colorful bar overseen by Partner and Principal Bartender Sondre Kasin comes a curation of “COQTAILS” crafted to be refreshing, invigorating, and made with locally sourced ingredients. The Egg will ensure guests “have faith that [it] came first.” Grey Goose vodka, St Germain, jasmine, lychee, and club soda are mixed and poured tableside over an egg-shaped ice cube. Low and no ABV options are also available.

After visiting, we implore you: which came first, your appreciation for Korean fried chicken or your dine at COQODAQ?

Top Takeaways

Location: Flatiron, New York City

Address: 12 E 22nd St, New York, NY 10010

Cuisine: Korean

Price Point: $$$

Takes Reservations: Yes –– via Resy

The vibe: The buzzy, design-centric dining room sets the tone for the most elevated meal revolving around fried chicken most will ever encounter. 

Our favorite thing on the menu: It’s practically sacrilegious to go to COQODAQ and not order The Bucket List.

The attire: Smart Casual

Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner: Open daily for dinner from 5 pm – 11 pm.

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