The etc. I am referring to is the new Japanese/American restaurant CO-OP in the Rivington Hotel on the Lower East Side—once again my hood breeds a hot spot. Another work dinner put me in charge of picking a fun, hip place and CO-OP immediately came to mind as a place I wanted to try. Since I have not reached the financial means to shop or live in a co-op, I settled for the next best thing.
|The Cheat Sheet|
Entering through the hotel, we made our way past the lounge and bar areas through the first dining room to the ultimate dinning mecca. I had especially requested to sit in the grander of the two rooms for one reason and one reason only—the portraits by famed photographer EJ Camp (the long dining room table and 30 ft high ceilings with a massive skylight came in second). On the wall hung 50 or so portraits of people of all genders, ethnicities, styles and looks. This decor lead to a game of "Guess Who," which turned into a drinking game for every person one guessed incorrectly. Little did we know that not everyone who was lucky enough to grace the wall was indeed famous. The owner had put pictures of friends, neighbors and loved ones (his girlfriend included) on the wall as well.
|The Tray of Goodies|
|Gotta Think Pink|
|Tokyo Lobster Roll|
|Lollipops & Buns|
America's turn came next with chicken lollipops (surprisingly not bad despite the odd name), beef sliders (disappointing) and truffle mac & cheese. The m&c was one of the best dishes, and I don't even really like cheese. I suspect the truffle lured me in, but then again you can add truffle to almost anything and I'll eat it.
On a different note, I wanted to comment on the music. Not sure why I am compelled to mention it this time as I rarely comment on this matter (maybe it's the rock n' roll feeling this place gives off), but the roster of music was fantastic. Classic rock and oldies like Jim Morrison, The Beatles, & U2 blasted over the loud speakers with everyone feeling it. When Tom Petty's "Learning to Fly" came on it took all the common decency I possess not to jump on the table and start busting a move—please recall that I was with my boss and a major account. If I was with friends, said action above would have most likely occurred in a heartbeat.
So who needs a fancy store or fancy building to say they've been to a co-op? I have the best kind in town right in my backyard. After all, I'm gunning for a spot on the wall so I need to devote all my time to this co-op.
Places of Interest:
CO-OP, 107 Rivington St, 212-796-8040http://co-oprestaurant.com/