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Pete Wells Awards Three Stars to Korean Tasting Menu Restaurant Atomix

The critic praises the restaurant’s fermented flavors

Hoe 회: raw sea bream with uni, mustard, and chungjang sauce
Hoe 회: raw sea bream with uni, mustard, and chungjang sauce
Louise Palmberg/Eater

The rave reviews keep pouring in for Atomix, the fine dining Korean restaurant from Junghyun and Jeungeun “Ellia” Park from the same husband-wife team behind similarly acclaimed Atoboy. Pete Wells paid a visit to the Nomad restaurant, doling out three stars for its “dishes of wonderful intricacy, sophistication, and beauty.”

Atomix, one of the hottest restaurants in Manhattan right now, offers a 10-course, $175 tasting menu of modern Korean food, like striped jack sashimi with plum vinegar sauce, fermented chile, sesame oil, and kimchi. A stylish menu card arrives before every course with a transliteration of the Korean word. Atomix pours attention into details and vocabulary, a trait Wells praises in his review.

While the dishes don’t always scream “Korean cuisine,” according to Wells, most of the flavors do nod to Korean cooking, especially through the incorporation of fermentation. Wells highlights the restaurant’s fermentation skills, writing:

Fermentation bends a mix of juices from Korean pears, green apples and pineapple toward a cidery direction that makes it a thrilling marinade, braising liquid and sauce for exquisitely rich Wagyu strip loin. It’s the foundation for an array of vinegars you won’t find on the average table in Koreatown: cherry blossom, persimmon, mugwort, birch. And, of course, fermentation is behind the restaurant’s arsenal of pickled vegetables, the most interesting of which may be the tart brussels sprouts that Mr. Park serves in banchan format alongside roast duck with a mole sauce that could pass muster in Mexico if Mr. Park did not up the funk level with gochujang.

Eater critic Ryan Sutton also lauded the restaurant with three stars, similarly impressed by the restaurant’s attention to its menu descriptions. Eggplant with eel four ways that, as he points out, is gone in two bites and yet comes accompanied by a 240-word menu card. Three stars.

ATOMIX

104 East 30th Street, Manhattan, NY 10016 Visit Website

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