The Citiblog

Kobo Brings Mediterranean Flavors to the East Village
September 20, 2023, 6:40.52 pm ET


Phōtos: Kobo

Kōbo is the latest offering from Chef Ruben Rodriguez’s Nai Restaurant Group which includes Amigo, Nai, and Emilia. At Kōbo, Rodriguez explores his Spanish roots and love of Italian and Mediterranean flavors. The centerpiece of the restaurant is a 35-seat pink Brazilian quartzite bar and chef’s counter, lit by an elaborate wood chandelier composed of 1,117 handcrafted pieces of wood in a shape reminiscent of a wave.

Kōbo’s menu celebrates simple ingredients and soulful cooking, honoring Rodriguez’s Galician heritage. Look for dishes “to share” like Caponata over homemade foccacia topped with cured sardines; Croquette, an adaptation of his mother’s cod croquettes made fresh daily; Broccoli Rabe with romesco and parmesan; and Radicchio salad with grilled pear, hazelnuts, pecorino and aged balsamic. There is Hummus with hints of harissa served with warm Bazlama bread, and Mortadella that sits atop homemade sourdough.

Pastas, which rotate with the season, feature Fideuà, a pasta form of paella from Spain’s Valencia region made with squid ink, octopus, baby squid and saffron; Kōbo's Lasagna layered with spicy beef bolognese and a curry béchamel; Pappardelle accompanied by spicy Italian sausage and pecorino; and house-made Ravioli filled with delicata squash, brown butter, pumpkin seeds and sage.

Mains include Oxtail, complemented by carrot purée, espigarelo and pine nuts, and Whole Market Fish served with a black olive tapenade and herbs. Tiramisu, Panna Cotta and seasonal pies are counted among the desserts.

The wine list leans Italian and Spanish, while also showcasing other wine-producing regions of the Mediterranean. Cocktails include a Martini with gin and Moroccan black olive infused vermouth and Kōbo Kiss consisting of gin, Cappelletti, vermouth, and Maraschino juice. There is also a signature house Sangria with brandy, orange liquor, wine and tonic. For more information, visit