Meaning “The Center of the world”, Gaonnuri is a Korean restaurant located on the 39th floor of an office building, offering breathtaking views of Manhattan. This is definitely unique in Korea Town and, to get a seat next to a window, you apparently need to book a table a month in advance with a special request. We did not and got seated in one of the comfortable booths.
It is quite a huge place with a nice vibe and lots of light. Menu wise, they propose an elegant version of classics as well as quite interesting dishes. All of this with an impeccable service. I started with one of their cocktails called When September Ends, made with Hudson Manhattan Rye, honey jujube, Montenegro amaro and Grand Marnier.
Then, we decided to take their $55 prix-fixe menu that includes an appetizer, an entree and a dessert. Jodi chose japchae with mushrooms. Japchae are glass noodles made with sweet potatoes. This was really good, the mushrooms being very tasty and not just steamed.
On my side, I had the fried calamari salad, composed of fried calamari tossed In honey wine Go-Chu-Jang sauce and served on seasonal mixed greens with pear dressing. When I asked the waiter how spicy it was, he replied: “I believe in you” that was pretty funny. It was spicy for sure, but so good that I was going back at it.
Then came the entrees. Jodi ordered the vegetable bibimbap that came, as expected, in a piping hot bowl. The waiter mixed it for her. I liked it although I prefer it with beef or chicken and we failed to create a rice crust that is always the best part.
Strangely, it came with a soup that had tofu and enoki mushrooms in it and was unexpected.
On my side, I went for the marinated galbi that is marinated beef short ribs. They asked if I I wanted it cooked in the kitchen or at the table and I picked the latter. They then uncovered the grill that was in the middle of the table and grilled the meat to a nice medium rare. It was delicious: juicy and tasty, I simply loved it.
It came with a salad, rice (to share with Jodi: weird considering she had a rice dish), and some banchan, that are small dishes. There was my favorite, kimchi (fermented cabbage), that was not too hot, pickles, potatoes and radish.
Last was dessert. I admit that I was a bit intrigued as Korean restaurants are rarely proposing dessert. It was a chocolate financier with a mango sorbet. It was decent, with a beautiful presentation.
This was a very good dinner and I loved the atmosphere at Gaonnuri. The food is really good and I highly recommend it.
Enjoy (I did)!
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Gaonnuri - 1250 Broadway, New York, NY 10001