Gastronomy News Chef

Cote, the Michelin-starred restaurant open late: 'Customers after midnight? They're welcome here.'

Alessandra Meldolesi
Proprietor Simon Kim scaled 1

New York rediscovers late-night dining: after the post-COVID disruption of habits and reduced hours, a quality late-night dining scene is making a comeback.

Hero image: World Red Eye. 

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In the post-COVID puzzle, many have reduced their service hours, asking for guests' understanding to balance not only budgets but also the work-life equation in an attempt to re-motivate fleeing employees. However, some think differently and stay in the kitchen beyond any reasonable hour, as detailed by Robb Report regarding the New York dining scene.

Blue Ribbon Brasserie

For example, the Blue Ribbon Brasserie, opened in 1992 by brothers Eric and Bruce Bromberg, modeled after the Parisian Au Pied du Cochon, a 24-hour establishment where the two could get whatever they wanted at any time of day or night. "We wanted to do something for people who don't have regular hours," they say. However, the early days were tough, with barely ten covers recorded after midnight. Thanks to early press attention and word of mouth, the place started to fill up until 4 AM with other chefs, musicians, actors, comedians, all sorts of people of the night, all of whom, for professional reasons, couldn't dine at conventional hours.

Raw Bar with Chef Dan Bazzinotti blue ribbon
Blue Ribbon Brasserie

In fact, it was the only place to get a gourmet meal late into the night, but COVID disrupted everything for a while. "We basically had to start over from scratch, but we're back on track." It wasn't just the curfews; it was also the exodus from the city of these particular groups and the underground parties. "A lot of people had simply gotten used to doing nothing in the evening." These habits were bound to solidify, leading most establishments to close their kitchens a couple of hours earlier, and those that used to stay open all the time began closing at midnight.

simon kim charles roussel
Restaurateur at Cote- @Charles Roussel

However, late-night restaurants are making a comeback, even in the high-end segment. Jean’s by Max Chodorow and Ashwin Deshmukh keeps its kitchen open until 2 AM on Fridays and Saturdays, and even Michelin-starred Cote by Simon Kim serves its premium American Wagyu until 1 AM, when you can still order the Japanese variety. "For me, introducing a late-night menu at Cote was a matter of nostalgia. I have such fond memories of late-night meals with my team and colleagues at Blue Ribbon, Buvette, and K-town, which has always been a popular spot for off-hours crowds. It was important for me to offer a similar atmosphere, with a high-end approach," asserts the chef.

SeoulSalon scaled
Seoul Salon

There are also Seoul Salon in Koreatown, open until midnight or 2 AM on Fridays and Saturdays; Café Chelsea, which is bustling every day until midnight; Port Sa’id, a more traditional night spot; and Les Trois Chevaux by Angie Mar, who exclaims, "It's fantastic, it feels like the old New York." Although the market around 4 AM is not yet what it used to be, as some lament.

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