Pegu Club is a staple when it comes to New York City cocktail bars. It is and will remain a mixology bar that allows you plenty of space, wondrous concoctions and a setting that suits just about any occasion or company. It’s no wonder, then, that Kenta Goto’s first solo project, Bar Goto, embodies yet another perfect Manhattan locale. Similar to Pegu’s format, Bar Goto is first and foremost a place for cocktails. The bar takes up nearly half the space, leaving only a few small tables against the wall. For your first visit, I suggest the Sakura Martini, a sake and gin based concoction that comes with a cherry blossom floating perfectly in the center.
Whatever poison you choose, it is guaranteed to be mixed with the utmost care and served delicately in the most elegant fashion. The bartenders also make a fantastic gin martini.
Should you stay for a bite (which you most definitely should) the Miso Wings are not to be missed. I was pleasantly surprised by the Kobu Celery as well, which is coated in sesame oil, shiso flakes and sesame for the perfect crunch to kick-off a light meal. Goto’s specialty is okonomi-yaki – savory Japanese pancakes made of eggs and cabbage — with unconventional fillings like pork belly, rock shrimp and cheddar cheese. These dishes are a thing of beauty, each served with house-blended Okonomi-sauce, dried bonito flakes and pickled red ginger.
In the end, the décor is clean and minimalist, the food and drink simple enough to appease your every want, and the flavors just flawlessly satisfying.