NYC's Cote Brings Upscale Korean Steakhouse to Miami This February

"The Butcher's Cut allows newbies the ease of ordering a prix-fixe meal that offers the best of Cote's menu for $54 per person.
"The Butcher's Cut allows newbies the ease of ordering a prix-fixe meal that offers the best of Cote's menu for $54 per person. Photo by Gary He
A New York City-based Korean steakhouse is coming to Miami this winter.

Cote will open in February at the entrance to the city's Design District.

According to its creator, Simon Kim, the Miami neighborhood is the perfect location for his 6,000-square-foot restaurant, which takes the tried-and-true American steakhouse concept and gives it a Korean barbecue makeover. The proprietor's South Florida expansion marks his only location besides the flagship Cote in Manhattan.

"With Cote, my goal is to create the most fun one-star Michelin restaurant in the country," Kim tells New Times. "Miami is a perfect second location. This city loves to have fun, and that vibe is exactly what dining at Cote is all about. I'm taking that same energy we love and embrace in New York and extending it to Miami."

Born in Korea, Kim opened Cote in the Flatiron neighborhood in 2017. The distinctive approach to Korean barbecue has earned the restaurant a number of James Beard Award nominations as well as an annual Michelin star for three years running.

To that end, Cote's Miami location will import the flagship's high-spirited interactive atmosphere along with its prime beef and 1,200-plus-bottle wine list, one Kim promises will offer among the most extensive selections in Miami. Large-format bottles will be Cote’s specialty, with all by-the-glass wines poured from magnums bottled especially for the restaurant.

At Cote, the focus is on prime meats, each grilled at the table Korean barbecue-style. In a change of pace from heavier, traditional steakhouse sides, they're served alongside light pickled vegetables that have been preserved on-site in the restaurant’s own vegetable fermentation lab. The full menu includes shareable appetizers that range from wedge salad, steak tartare, and shrimp cocktail to a full caviar service ($16-$120). Savory side dishes round out the rest of the dishes, creative takes on Korean favorites that include stews, a Wagyu paella, and somyun, a Korean angel hair served in a clear anchovy consommé ($15-$28).

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At Cote, the prime cuts are cooked tableside, over smokeless grills.
Photo by Gary He
"I remember when my dad would take me out to dinner. The food at the upscale restaurants was memorable, but nothing compared to the Korean experience of having a live fire at the table," Kim says when asked how he came up with the concept, adding that food at the Korean restaurants wasn't refined enough while steakhouses felt boring. "So I took all the fun and excitement of Korean barbecue and married it with the upscale quality of a New York steakhouse to create Cote as the best of both worlds."

As at the New York restaurant, each table is equipped with its own smokeless grill. The dry-aged cuts are presented raw to show off their marbling and color, then cooked to order. The meats are paired with a variety of condiments, from a house kimchi to a ssamjang dipping sauce used for lettuce wraps.

Cote offers a ten-course omakase experience: nine different cuts paired with side dishes and cocktails or wine to complement each selection ($145 per person). Those new to the Cote concept should consider the "Butcher's Cut," a selection of four different meats served with an assortment of the restaurant's savory sides, pickled vegetables, rice, and dessert ($54 per person).

"If you don't get the "Butcher's Cut", you're missing out," Kim says. "It's a very economical and comprehensive way to enjoy the best of what Cote has to offer."

If that's not luxe enough for your crowd, the owner suggests adding a few slices of A5 Wagyu, a seafood tower, or an ounce of caviar to split with your dining companions.

In Miami, diners can also choose to begin their meal with a number of dishes unique to the location, including ceviche, salads featuring fresh local produce, and coastal-inspired seafood appetizers. Likewise, beef selections will reflect Miami's polyglot Latin culture with the inclusion of specialty cuts like the Brazilian picanha (AKA culotte), which comes from the rump cap muscle.

"We thought long and hard about how to make Cote an easy, memorable experience for our customers," Kim sums up. "The idea is to let us do the work. Trust us, and enjoy your company and the meal."

Cote. 3900 NE Second Ave., Miami; 305-434-4668; Opening February 2021.
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Nicole Danna is a Palm Beach County-based reporter who began covering the South Florida food scene for New Times in 2011. She also loves drinking beer and writing about the area's growing craft beer community.
Contact: Nicole Danna