New York City’s modern Korean dining scene gets a boost today with the opening of Soogil, an East Village restaurant from Soogil Lim at 108 East 4th St., between First and Second avenues. Lim is a South Korea native with time as Daniel’s sous chef and Hanjan’s executive chef.
Combining that experience, Lim has created a menu of vegetables, meat, and seafood. Dishes in each category include sweet potato beignets with chilled white kimchi soup; spicy soft tofu flan with shrimp, squid, and manila clams in a seafood broth; and sliced pork belly with mini kimchi-radish rolls. Drinks focus on Korean spirits, wine, beer, and twists on classic French cocktails — rather than the traditional French 75 with Champagne, lemon juice, gin, and simple syrup, the French 108e has sake, Champagne, and lemon juice.
With this opening, NYC has no shortage of casual but refined Korean restaurants; Oiji and Atoboy both tidily fit into that genre, too. Soogil, with its toned-down wood and grey aesthetic, joins the mix for dinner, Monday through Thursday from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 6 p.m. to 12 a.m., and Sunday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.