Photos: Dan Ahn
Moono, a new restaurant from Michelin star chef Hoyoung Kim (Jua), in partnership with HAND hospitality group, is taking a more casual approach to Korean cuisine, showcasing undiscovered dishes via an a la carte menu in the heart of New York City’s vibrant Koreatown.
The name comes from the Korean word "moonho" meaning "the gateway” – its intention being a passageway to interact with, and experience, Korean cuisine and culture through food.
Diners will discover a menu broken down into various categories reflecting the Korean table – Ssam (wrapped) / Muchim (mixed with seasonings), Twigim (fried), Jeon (Korean pancake), Sotbap (Rice Cooked in Pot), Hot Pot, Noodles, as well as meats and seafood, plus dessert.
The beverage program, led by General Manager Jaehoon No, features a mixed selection of bottled beers ranging from Korean varieties to local craft brews. Signature cocktails are made with Korean spirits such as distilled soju, makgeolli, fruit wine, and yakju, and also incorporate Korean flavors and ingredients. The wine list is comprised of both Old and New World wines, with a special focus on natural varieties and wines from Burgundy.
The bi-level restaurant is housed in what was originally the Grolier Club, a historically landmarked Romanesque building built in 1889. Guests will ascend the front steps to enter into the foyer, which boasts a grand wooden staircase and black-and-white marble tiling, both of which have a charming patina that match the storied exterior.
There is an intimate bar space featuring a seven-seat green marbled bar and warm wood tones with gold accents. Above, there is an illuminated hemispheric dome in the ceiling that is rendered with a mural with illustration – drawn in the style of “Minhwa” – depicting a serene nature scene. A closer look reveals traditional Korean instruments hidden throughout.
Moono is located at 29 East 32nd Street, New York, NY (646) 429-8309. For more information, visit moononyc.com