I recently had the pleasure of dining at Barn Joo, Korean for 'music with your meal'. Situated on the ground floor of a boutique hotel, owned by the entrepreneur Charles Chong, Barn Joo is a huge tavern-like space, with a large bar downstairs, as well as additional seating upstairs. Perfect for large groups, the modern interior is dimly-lit with candles on each of the tables, and an upbeat mix of R&B and classic rock music. A motif of large, heavy hanging ropes is used throughout the sleek restaurant, to symbolize tying or connecting people together. The head chef is Steve Song, who has worked for Jean-Georges Vongerichten. Upon walking in, you will see a large wheel, like the one on The Price is Right, except this one is all food prizes. One person in your group gets to spin the wheel, and whatever appetiser it lands on is what your table gets for free. My friend did the honours with the wheel and we got the Truffle Mushrooms with king oysters, shiitake, maitake & enoki. This appetiser was such a hit with the table! So much flavor was packed into the mushrooms, it really was a great start to the meal.
We also ordered the Kimchi Bacon Pancake ($17) and the HWE Bibimbap ($21). The Kimchi Bacon Pancake comes with pulled pork, smoked bacon and serrano peppers. This dish was definitely my favorite of the night, with the flavors marrying so well together. The HWE Bibimbap is served cold, and consists of fresh salmon & tuna sashimi, caramelised kimchi, salmon roe & chojang chili sauce. This is a great dish for sushi lovers, and I really liked the addition of toasted black and white sesame seeds in the rice, which gave it a delicious nutty flavor.
Whether you're looking to unwind after work with a few cocktails or looking for a group appropriate menu, you can't go wrong with Barn Joo.
Barn Joo: 893 Broadway, Flatiron District, New York, NY 10003