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Atoboy

Critic's Pick Critics' Pick

43 E. 28th St, New York, NY 10016 40.743663 -73.984537
nr. Park Ave. S.  See Map | Subway Directions Hopstop Popup
646-476-7217 Send to Phone

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  • Cuisine: Korean
  • Price Range: $$

    Key to Prices and ratings

    Upscale
    • Almost Perfect
    • Exceptional
    • Generally Excellent
    • Very Good
    • Good
    Cheap Eats
    • Best in Category
    • Excellent
    • Delicious
    • Very Good
    • Noteworthy
    • Very Expensive
    • Expensive
    • Moderate
    • Cheap
  • Critics' Rating: ***

    Key to Prices and ratings

    Upscale
    • Almost Perfect
    • Exceptional
    • Generally Excellent
    • Very Good
    • Good
    Cheap Eats
    • Best in Category
    • Excellent
    • Delicious
    • Very Good
    • Noteworthy
    • Very Expensive
    • Expensive
    • Moderate
    • Cheap
  • Reader Rating: Write a Review
Photo by Jemma Hinkly

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Official Website

atoboynyc.com

Hours

Mon-Fri, noon-2pm and 5:30pm-10pm; Sat, 5:30pm-10pm; Sun, closed

Nearby Subway Stops

N, R at 28th St.; 6 at 33rd St.

Prices

Dinner: $36 prix-fixe; Lunch: $20

Payment Methods

American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Special Features

  • Hot Spot
  • Lunch
  • Notable Chef
  • Prix-Fixe
  • Online Reservation

Alcohol

  • Beer and Wine Only
  • Sake and Soju

Reservations

Accepted/Not Necessary

Profile

It’s undoubtedly true, as rents (and wages) continue their inexorable rise, that the barriers to entry in the increasingly rapacious, competitive world of New York restaurants have never been higher. It’s also true, however, as quirky DIY dining rooms and carefully pruned backyard herb gardens continue to pop up in unexpected places all around town, that a new generation of resourceful and talented young cooks is doing more with less. Exhibit A in this reassuring trend is Junghyun Park’s excellent small-plates banchan tasting establishment Atoboy, which opened not out in the rustic borderlands of Flushing or Bushwick, but among the well-heeled, fat-cat dining joints off Madison Avenue in the Flatiron District. Like many members of this new Threadbare Gourmet generation, Park and his wife, Ellia, learned their craft at a series of grand, Michelin-approved kitchens before opening this stylish establishment, which looks, with its communal wood-bench tables and polished concrete floor, like the kind of spare, modish place you’d encounter in one of the swankier dining precincts of Seoul. Much of Park’s precise, elegantly plated cooking tastes that way, too, especially at dinnertime, when $36 buys a mix-and-match three-course meal that even the most discerning haute-Korean food snob can love. On my last visit, there were mahogany-colored slices of smoked eel sprinkled with twists of black pepper on the menu, as well as soft little towers of pearly shrimp dressed with chile oil and paired with crunchy slices of frizzled garlic. Like many classically trained chefs, Park has a facility with vegetables, which he enjoys enhancing with wicked shots of umami (butter-braised leeks with Cheddar, corn with Taleggio and bacon), but the dishes I’ll be going back for are the elevated, even dainty renditions of gut-busting proteins, like pork jowls (fried in thin, tonkatsu-like slices over barley and romaine), chunks of fried chicken (deboned and drizzled with a delicious spicy peanut-butter sauce), and decorous slabs of foie gras–flavored beef brisket, which you can enjoy at lunchtime, for $17, served with garlic and squares of crunchy pickled radish, over bowls of steamy rice.

Ideal Meal

French beans with smoked eel, sunchoke, chicken. 

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