NYCReview

photo credit: Cotra

The interior of Cotra.
8.0

Cotra

Japanese

Gowanus

$$$$Perfect For:Casual Weeknight DinnerEating At The Bar

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There’s a Japanese izakaya in Gowanus that’s making wood-fired corn ribs in a converted pizza oven. If that doesn’t sound like the most quintessential Brooklyn statement, we’re not sure what does. Either way, it’s what’s happening at Cotra, a restaurant from the team behind Bed-Stuy’s Trad Room. You'll find the leather booths and exposed brick of long-time neighborhood favorite Monte’s still here, as well as the oven—the sushi chef experiments with Japanese-style pizza. With its flickering candles and mismatched chandeliers, this place is great for a casual date night over a bowl of noodles with someone who will agree to the carafe of house sake even when they said they were taking the night off. Or have yourself a solo evening at the bar up front, with a cocktail and some mochiko chicken. 

The exterior of Cotra.

photo credit: Cotra

Food Rundown

Addictive Cabbage

This one is entirely self explanatory. Ok, we'll help. Tart, marinated cabbage remains perfectly crisp. A salt-and-vinegar chip in cabbage form. Start your meal here.
A dish at Cotra.

photo credit: Cotra

Sake Kasu Caesar

Of all the alternative caesar salads we've ingested (so many alternative caesar salads), this one stands out. The asian pear is the perfect balance to the salty parm, and fried lotus root is a standout substitute for croutons.

Sushi Roll

Cotra has a whole section of their menu devoted to sushi, but we'd skip it. The rolls are all pretty standard, and they're made with brown rice, which isn't our thing. Stick to the rest of the menu.
A dish at Cotra.

photo credit: Cotra

Soft Shell Crab Mazemen

If this is available, you should be eating it. Noodles in a ginger scallion sauce, hiding under a whole fried soft shell crab. This and a carafe of house sake could be your whole meal. It shouldn't, because you need the addictive cabbage too, but it could.

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FOOD RUNDOWN

Suggested Reading

Where To Eat In Gowanus image

Where To Eat In Gowanus

Our 12 favorite places in the neighborhood.

Rémy Martin

From our favorite places to eat omakase sushi to some top-tier neighborhood spots, here's where to have a big night out.

Claro image

Claro is a great Oaxacan-inspired restaurant that’s even better when you’re sitting in the backyard.

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