Restaurants We Know You Want to Put on Your Radar: NR Japanese Cocktail Bar & Eatery
We were not alive during the 19th century to visit Japan, but if we were, enjoying a drink would have been one of our top priorities upon arrival. However, we are alive today, and excited to hear that the Upper East Side is now home to NR Japanese Cocktail Bar & Eatery, which is a tribute to those establishments of the Meiji period, the time period where western inspired cocktails were first thought to have made an appearance in Japan. Owner and Beverage Director Shigefumi Kabashima along Ramen Master Chef Isao Yoenda have created a menu of gorgeous looking cocktails to pair with steamed buns, Japanese tapas, and a selection of traditional ramen bowls, so the question we have is whether the broth or liquor will warm us up faster?
The bar and restaurant, which can host up to 120 thirsty or hungry people, includes a vintage style bar in the back with 18 seats as well as small tables. There’s also a tiny painted rocking horse and cool looking cocktail glassware for people who like tiny horses and/or geek out over cocktail history. Both of those people sound cool to us. The inaugural cocktail menu is a combination of favorite drinks from Kabashima’s Harlem spot ROKC as well as 20 classic cocktails that have been given a few modifications. Cocktails range from $14 to $17 and include the Truffle made with citrus vodka, truffle honey, muscat, grapefruit and parmigiano. Yes you read that last one right.
Chef Isao Yoneda, formerly head chef at Totto Ramen and Hide-Chan Ramen in Manhattan, made a menu that includes karaage fried chicken and pork buns, while a selection of ramens with gluten-free noodles available. There’s also beer steamed mussels served with cotton candy which we’re making a point to try.
NR’s opening hours during the week are from Monday to Thursday from 5 PM to 11:15 PM and on Friday from 5 PM to 12 AM. An oyster happy hour is also available from 5 PM to 7 PM during weekdays. On weekends, the establishment is open from 12 PM to midnight on Saturday, and 12 PM to 11:15 PM on Sunday. The restaurant offers a Sunday brunch menu. Take a look at what we think are some of the most visually stunning drinks you’ll find in New York City (and that’s saying something because we literally look at pictures of food and drink every single day for a living).