photo credit: Byrnne Levy
If you’re appalled at the latest subway fare increase, try walking into Nōksu, a restaurant inside the 32nd Street entrance of Herald Square. The 12-course tasting menu is $225, the beverage pairing is an additional $175, and if you swap the kaluga caviar for ossetra in course five, that’ll be an extra $45. It sounds like a lot of expensive tasting menus, and once you’re sitting at a marble counter with about a dozen people, and eating things like raw crab and venison, the novelty of dining in a subterranean former barbershop kind of disappears.
But it's the Korean-inspired cooking, not all the hype around the location, that makes Nōksu interesting. If you have the equivalent of 78 subway trips to spend, it’s worth it just for the eighth course: a squab head, breast, and leg in a pool of gochujang agrodolce, served with a truffle bao filled with squab gizzard char siu, and puffed duck feet with squab liver parfait. It’s not tweezer-y, tasting menu food—it’s a whole squab, in the spotlight, doing justice to pigeons everywhere.
photo credit: Noksu