Sew Fetch

Is Butter A Carb: Co-op Food + Drink

As the great, late, Regina George once asked when starting a new diet: Is butter a carb?

No, Rachel-McAdams-in-one-of-your-only-non-irritating film roles ever, no it is not. It is, however, a fat, which for our purposes is…even better.

In the weekly “Is Butter A Carb?” series, we will be exploring carbs, fats, and more consumed by yours truly. First Up: Co-op Food and Drink, on the Lower East Side. I’d been wanting to try Co-Op for several reasons, namely:

[Image c/o EFG]

1. It is the brainchild of Chef John Keller (Le Bernadin Nobu) and sushi Chef Stephen Wong (Sushi of Gari, Megu).

2. It is in my new favorite neighborhood, the Lower East Side.

3. It features really trendy decor (see below) and I’ve been craving a reality TV starlet sighting.

[Really trendy decor]

Last Wednesday, 2 girlfriends and I made the trek to the LES for a much-needed girls night out. Co-op had a table ready for us upon arrival and was even cool with letting two of us sit while we waited for our third, although their policy is to not seat incomplete parties. As we waited, we were given complimentary truffle butter popcorn, which, since my dining companion had just had a wisdom tooth extracted, I happily demolished in 45 seconds. The waitress gave me a confused/moderately disgusted sideways glance but brought more with no question. Five points for Co-Op. We ordered a reasonably priced bottle of wine and on the host’s recommendation, five plates to share: Mini Ceviche Tacos, the Co-Op roll (spicy tuna and rock shrimp tempura), a Tuna Tuna Yuzu roll, Peking Duck Steamed Buns and Lower East Sliders (cute).

[Co-Op Roll: Delicious]

[Lower East Sliders]

The Good:

  • The atmosphere (loud but not overbearing music, low seating, huge black chandeliers, pop art, and a lot of sparkle) was perfect for a girls night out. I would take any female friends back here for a drink and a snack. It’s the kind of restaurant you do not wear flats to, and almost feel bad eating at since the average body fat index in the room lingers around .05%. Also, the host was hot.
  • The service was surprisingly good–our waitress wasn’t around much but when she was,  had helpful suggestions and when a server spilled my friends’ (near-empty) wine glass, they brought another (overflowing) one. Cheers to servers who understand the importance of alcohol!
  • The food was  quite yummy! I’d recommend ordering the sushi and other Japanese-inspired dishes. Our Co-Op roll was amazing and the Tuna Tuna Yuzu was the best spicy tuna I’d had in ages. The Lower East Sliders, which we were super excited for, were average and served with blah fries, while the Peking Duck was nothing to write home about (although that may have been because it came out last and we were had sufficiently stuffed our faces)
The Bad:
  • Our drinks were phenomenal (The Pink Bazooka, The Ninja Butterfly & The Wandering Nymph). They also led my friends to coin the nickname “Wandering Nymph” for me, which is actually quite accurate (I would also accept “Ninja Butterfly”. Despite my new moniker, I can’t stand behind the beverages if only for the fact that they were $15 each. Now, I know this is to be expected at an establishment like Co-Op, but although our drinks were delicious they were certainly not strong enough to warrant their price. I prefer my girls’ night out dinners to get hazy and blurry by dessert, which usually requires approximately three cocktails throughout the meal. At $15 bucks a pop, tipsiness was achieved–but for a prettttty penny.
  • The pricing in general. Again, we expected the high prices and weren’t surprised by them, and actually, our meal turned out to be quite reasonable, but that was largely due to what my boyfriend calls the “small girl conundrum.” The small girl conundrum lies in a simple question–why is it that the same girl who can eat four slices of pizza for breakfast (me) can go to a tapas restaurant, have one shrimp, two french fries, and four salad leaves, and proclaim it a delicious meal (also me)? My boyfriend, as a large dude who loves meat, not only fails to understand but detests the concept of small plate restaurants. Once, after we got home from a romantic date at a tapas restaurant in DC, he proclaimed himself starving and made two full hamburgers. From scratch. With buns and condiments. I, meanwhile, was stuffed. My friends and I were happy and full after our meal at Co-Op, but I expect that if I took the man (or any man)  there, they would definitely leave with a hunger in their stomachs or in their wallets. As we only ordered five dishes, we weren’t blown away by the check despite our many drinks.
The Consensus:
Co-Op is great for dinner or drinks with the girls, and an awesome place to celebrate a special occasion or grab a cocktail before dinner. Do not take a full-sized man there.
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