Kenta Goto has opened Bar Goto, featuring Japanese small dishes and cocktails on the Lower East Side. Growing up in Tokyo, he worked at his mother’s restaurant and often visited the fashionable Ginza District where his father worked in the kimono business. On the wall at the bar hangs his grandmother’s 100-year-old kimono.
The cocktails are an update on the classics and showcase Japanese ingredients such as yuzu, shiso, and miso. Goto, who earned the Spirited Award for American Bartender of the Year at the 2011 Tales of the Cocktails, credits his seven-year tenure at the Pegu Club and its owner Audrey Saunders for the inspiration to open his own bar.
Cocktails include the Sakura Martini (Sake, gin, maraschino, and cherry blossom) and Umami Mary (vodka, miso, shiitake, lemon, tomato and Clamato).
Japanese bar food from Chef Kiyo Shinoki from Bohemian accompanies the drinks. The selection includes savory cabbage pancakes, like The Classic, made with pork belly, rock shrimp, calamari, and yakisoba noodles.
245 Eldridge St. (between Stanton & East Houston)