There are times when you want a good meal, and other times when you want a fun, young scene. There are a handful of places that provide both, but they are few and far between (and difficult to get last minute reservations at).
Usually I am a huge advocate of trying new restaurants/unique places when I go out to eat. However, when friends ask me for a recommendation for a birthday dinner/party, I know they aren’t looking for a Michelin star rated joint or the new farm to table eatery.
Instead, they’d rather go to a place that is infiltrated with adolescence, looking more to party than to chow down. Enter CO-OP Food & Drink in the Rivington Hotel in the LES.
Just as I thought, we were seated between 2 birthday parties, and across from one large bachelorette party. If the dinner scene isn’t hopping enough for you, just head next door to the adjacent tequila bar: Viktor & Spoils.
The waiter was pretty knowledgeable on what was/wasn’t gluten-free. From the dinner menu, this is what you’ve got:
Gluten-Free Starters include:
Edamame (w/ seat salt? nice typo)
Blistered Shisito Peppers
Kale Caesar Salad
Paper Cut Salad
I didn’t ask about the sushi, but for the warm choices, the gluten-free options include:
Sliders without the buns
…and that’s it.
There’s only 3 “deluxe plates” to choose from which are fish and steak. I would assume they can make these gluten-free but you should ask.
They start you out with truffle popcorn (gluten-free), then we shared:
Paper Cut Salad w/ hearts of palm, asparagus, salsify & jalapeno dressing (gluten-free): I was imagining something totally different and was impressed by the fact that they shaved their asparagus into a noodle form. Bravo.
Blistered Shishito Peppers w/ yuzu citrus glaze (gluten-free): I loved these. So easy to nosh on.
Lobster Shots w/ truffled celery root puree & Maine lobster (gluten-free): I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The only place foam belongs in the kitchen is in the sink. Just not my thing, especially with seafood. Needless to say, although they sounded good in theory, I was not fond of the overall taste/appearance.
And from elsewhere on the table…
Dessert came, with a sparkler, but it wasn’t gluten-free so I didn’t pay much attention. Instead, I was fixated on the bride to be next door pounding shots in a veil out of a penis shaped shot glass. Side note: not a good look.
CO-OP Food & Drink
Pros: Festive atmosphere and shisito peppers.
Cons: About 30 random headshots stare at you while you eat.