Chef Ruben Rodriguez’s Latest Is Now Open in the East Village

Mafaldine in pork cheek ragu with paprika breadcrumbs and aged pecorino (Image: Kathryn M. Sheldon)

Many restaurants are a distillate of their owners’ experiences and influences. Take Chef Ruben Rodriguez’s portfolio of eateries, which have variously paid homage to his grandmother (Emilia), his mother (Nai), and his close friendship with Chef Rolando Flores (Amigo). Rodriguez’s latest, Kōbo, draws on his Spanish heritage and his travels through Italy and the Mediterranean.

The restaurant, which opened this week, features a half dozen seasonally rotating pastas, among them a novel take on fideua that is flavored with squid ink and saffron, and a lasagna populated with chunks of lamb and a curry béchamel.

Among the plates intended for sharing is a short rib stew with truffled mashed potatoes and watercress.

A centerpiece of the physical plant at Kōbo is a natural Brazilian champagne-pink stone counter that serves a dual purpose for cocktails and dining.

Kōbo, 202 Avenue A, 212-677-1030.

See also…

Amigo by Nai Comes of Age — Emerges as a Full-Service Restaurant