Please note that the meal was complimentary. However, the opinions expressed in my blog are 100% my own!
I recently got invited to Ms. Yoo, opened last July, is the new venture from Chef Esther Choi who gave us the fantastic Mokbar in Chelsea Market (and now Brooklyn). Taking its name from Chef Choi's Grandmother who taught her how to cook when she was a kid, Ms Yoo is not your traditional Korean restaurant, boasting a small menu perfect to share that is very creative and unique, a fusion between Korean and American cuisines. The space is also beautiful, and you cannot miss the cast iron trellises covered with vines, that give a certain elegance to the place, far from the casual setting of Mokbar.
They started off by bringing us two shots of cocktails: The Between The Knees for me, made with gin, ginger preserves, strawberry and lime, that is their take on a strawberry Daiquiri, and a ginger lemonade without any alcohol for Jodi. Both were really refreshing and well balanced.
Then our cocktails came. For Jodi, it was a mocktail, the Parrot Cries With Its Body, similar to a Pina Colada with fresh pineapple, cream of coconut and yuzu, but without rum.
On my side, their take on Martini called I Ms. Yoo (I miss you), made with Bourbon, Vermouth, bitters and jujube that is a fruit that looks like a date that I have not seen in many, many years.
We drank our cocktails while eating some nori popcorn that was surprisingly good, addictive and not fishy at all.
We started off by ordering the TTeok N' Cheese, that is mac and cheese where the pasta has been replaced by rice cakes. This delicious and surprising dish was made with gruyère and cheddar cheese, bacon, topped with panko, and served with a kimchi tomato sauce that was not spicy at all. This is the perfect dish if you love cheese because there was a lot in it.
The second dish was the roasted bone marrow with toasted baguette and bacon kimchi onion jam. That was a sublime dish: I admit that I ditched the bread, eating the marrow with a spoon, enjoying its decadent taste. And that Jam: it definitely can stand on its own and be eaten with or without bread, as a spread.
As a main entree, Jodi ordered the Tofu Burger, made with mungbean, tofu, shiitake mushroom patty, sprouts, tofu tahini sauce served with French fries. It looked beautiful. Unfortunately, I did not like it, the texture being mushy.
However, my dish was amazing! It was the Korean Dog On Bun, an elevated version of hot dog made with a housemade korean pork sausage, grilled jalapeno, yoo sauce, pretzel roll served with French fries. The first bite was fantastic: first you taste the pretzel bread that was soft, then the grilled jalapeño that was not spicy as well as some of the sauce and then you bite into the sausage that was very tasty and had a nice char. This was for me, after the bone marrow, the highlight of the meal and I definitely recommend this dish.
Overall, our dinner at Ms. Yoo was sublime: the flavors were unique and the food delicious. It is not a big menu with most of the dishes perfect for sharing, but they execute it well. I would for sure go back to try their burger or their whole chicken that is cooked to order (plan 1 hour to be served or mention it when you make your reservation). I like the fact that Chef Choi is not just making mainstream Korean dishes and goes in creative territories, succeeding in creating a unique experience.
Enjoy (I did)!
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Ms. Yoo - 163 Allen St, New York, NY 10002