COQODAQ Wants to Be Your Fancy Fried Chicken "Cathedral"
On January 12, the people behind Cote will open a fried chicken and champagne spot in NYC
Like many foods, it’s debatable who first fried chicken parts until they were golden brown (some say its roots go back to ancient Roman times, while others trace it to Africa or Scotland), and discovered that it might be the most delicious thing ever eaten.
Whatever its origin story, fried chicken is the quintessential Southern American dish with its roots deeply steeped in African-American culture and history: Enslaved people would make fried chicken for special occasions. Many Black families would build wealth and create legacies by opening fried chicken restaurants.
Like most foods of humble beginnings, there’s been a trend to turn fried chicken into something exclusive. At Momofuku, a fried chicken meal that serves 4 to 8 people costs $225. And many places serve chicken and champagne specials.
If you like your chicken fancy, there’s a new place set to open in just a few days. COQODAQ, a fried chicken restaurant by Simon Kim's Gracious Hospitality Management and the Michelin-starred Cote Korean Steakhouse team, will open on January 12 at 12 E 22nd Street in New York City.
COQODAQ (how you pronounce it is anyone’s guess), is being billed as a fried chicken “cathedral” and will offer a concise menu that includes some raw bar items, a few appetizers (a Caesar salad, a fennel salad, chicken live pate, and a chicken and shrimp toast), and a few a la carte offerings. But just like its beefier sister Cote and its Butcher’s feast — you’re coming here for one thing: The Bucket List.
In a play on Colonel Sanders’ famous chicken receptacle, the Bucket List is COQODAQ’s fried chicken dinner.
For $38 per person, you start with a roasted chicken consomme before being presented with a bucket of fried chicken, accompanied by two sauces (soy sauce garlic and gochujang glaze). The chicken is accompanied by pickled seasonal vegetables (ban-chan) and cold perilla seed noodles. Finally, you get a soft serve froyo, much like Cote does with its Butcher’s Feast.
COQODAQ will also offer a champagne list of more than 400 rare champagne bottles. In case you’d rather reserve your finances for that mortgage payment, COQODAQ also plans to offer 100 sparkling wines under $100. Here’s a hint for all you ballers — a crisp prosecco pairs better with rich, fried foods than a buttery champagne. Take that to the bank.
The restaurant also promises to embrace sustainability and to source humanely raised chickens that are hormone and antibiotic-free. The chickens are raised on a diet of vegetables, cuttings from restaurant kitchens, grains, and a couple of worms for good measure. The chickens are raised to 8 weeks, rather than the commercial 5-week standard, and are air chilled. The chickens are battered with gluten-free rice flour, and food waste will be upcycled and used cooking oil will be converted to biodiesel fuel.
So will COQODAQ become New York City’s new fried chicken darling? Will Michelin come calling? Will there be a COQODAQ Miami in the coming months? All good questions that remain to be seen. For now, there’s chicken and champagne. And that’s good enough.