The team behind popular Koreatown skewers and bar food destination Osamil is opening a new Korean-American restaurant in Gramercy Park. Cafe Salmagundi, located at 51 Irving Place, at the corner of East 17th Street, will have “New American cuisine with a Korean twist in the ingredients,” according to Joanna Lin, the marketing director for the restaurant.
Expect items like the pork belly confit ($28), which comes with a burnt sunchoke puree, chicharrón, and a leek salad topped with soy sauce; the whole branzino ($34), which features a kimchi vinaigrette; and a short rib preparation ($32) braised in red wine and soy sauce, and served with a side of vegetables and a potato and parsnip mash.
These shareable dishes are accompanied by smaller items like calamari dish served with picked jalapeño, grilled shishito peppers with salmon jerky, and a massive drinks selection highlighted by $17 cocktails like the Penicillin, which has mezcal, whiskey, and a honey ginger syrup, and the Irving, a mix of whiskey, China China liquer, and honey among other ingredients.
For now, all of this food and drink will be served at 40-seat outdoor eating area that’s enclosed by a sturdy-looking tent and rows of planters. When indoor dining eventually returns to full capacity, Cafe Salmagundi will be able to seat a total of 60 people inside.
The restaurant was initially set to open in the middle of the summer, but the owners decided to push back the opening until more people felt safe to eat outdoors in the light of the ongoing coronavirus crisis, according to Lin.
Donggul Lee, the chef over at Osamil, leads the kitchen here too, and hopes to introduce more items on the menu at Cafe Salmagundi as the months progress and restaurants have a better sense of when they might return to some form of indoor dining, according to Lin.
At present though, Lin says they’re just focussed on the day-to-day operations. When the restaurant opens on September 2, it will only accept walk-ins. There are currently no plans to setup a takeout or delivery option, but the restaurant will be open Wednesday through Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
“This our love letter to all the New Yorkers who have stayed back,” says Lin. “And for those who are continuing to find joy here.”