The rapidly upscaling Lower Lower East Side — which recently got a new nightspot and French bistro — adds a cocktail destination to its ranks tonight. Bar Goto, a Japanese tapas spot, was envisioned by master mixologist Kenta Goto, who spent seven years at Houston Street drinks mecca Pegu Club.
Here, Goto aims to “change the drinker’s viewpoint and experience with Asian-themed cocktails, updating the classics and showcasing Japanese ingredients like yuzu, shiso and miso,” he said in a press release.
The bar will feature nine signature cocktails like a yuzu-calpico fizz (wherein a Tom Collins meets the Japanese drink chuhai) and a house martini that pays tribute to the cherry blossom.
As for food, chef Kiyo Shinoki (formerly of Noho hideaway Bohemian) will offer items reminiscent of the restaurant Goto’s mother operates just outside of Tokyo. Okonomiyaki can be topped with your choice of seafood, meat, vegetables and cheeses. (The dish seems to be trending in the NYC restaurant scene, given the recent opening of Okiway).
Other options include gobo French fries (fried Japanese burdock roots with shichimi) or miso wings (chicken wings with roasted black sesame, scallion and miso-buffalo hot sauce). You can sample them while standing at one of the two bars or congregate with your friends at banquet seating.
Back in May, Grub Street anticipated that Bar Goto would be “the closest thing New York has seen to a Japanese-style cocktail bar since Angel’s Share arrived 20 years ago.” Indeed, tradition and authenticity are embedded in the very décor here. Goto had his grandmother’s 100-year-old kimono repurposed into wall art. He is also a master in Japanese calligraphy and included his last name in the logo to honor his family.
Have a look at the menu.
Bar Goto, 245 Eldridge St. bet. Stanton and East Houston Streets. Open Tuesday to Thursday from 5pm to midnight; Friday and Saturday from 5pm to 2am; and Sunday from 5pm to midnight.