Welcome to Ask Eater, a column from Eater New York where the site’s editors, reporters, and critics answer specific or baffling restaurant requests from readers and friends. A new question and answer will run every Thursday. Have a question for us? Submit your question in this form.
I'm looking for a birthday dinner for two at a steakhouse that is diet-friendly. We’re both on Weight Watchers, but we eat everything. I’m going to Quality Eats already for a girlfriend’s birthday a few weeks earlier, so have ruled that out. Anywhere in Manhattan or Brooklyn is fine. Any suggestions?
If it’s meat you crave, New York City is certainly full of it. It’s true, though — most classic steakhouses drown the sides and baste the beef in (glorious) butter. Here’s my workaround: Korean barbecue.
I already hear your protest: “But do Korean barbecue spots really care that much about the meat?” Well, let me tell you about Cote. The newish, upscale Flatiron restaurant bills itself as a Korean steakhouse, taking pride in its dry-aging room in the basement and meat sourced from respected local vendors.
Cote’s large menu looks like one from a more traditional American steakhouse, with steak tartare and shrimp cocktail appetizers, meats sold by the cut, and an array of side dishes. But look closer, and you’ll find that shrimp cocktail has a gochujang cocktail sauce, and those meats are accompanied by banchan and kimchi stew. It is precisely those Korean spices that infuse the food with so much flavor, rendering butter unnecessary.
Plus, Korean barbecue is so much damn fun, making it a perfect birthday occasion. I hope you enjoy, and HBD!