K-town goes downtown at Patate Fellow, which is introducing Korean-style chicken to the Lower East Side. The specialty at this cozy four-month-old pub is tong dak: chicken slow-roasted ahead of time, then flash-fried to order.
Lau describes the signature Patate chicken as tender, juicy meat in crisp, flavorful skin, prepared after the fashion of hound hangout Baden Baden New York, and maybe even better. The resemblance is no accident; the owner of Patate Fellow was the manager at BBNY for years (full disclosure: The owner is also acquainted with Digest editor Mark Hokoda). The newcomer serves its chicken not with pickled radish à la Baden Baden but with dill pickles—perhaps a nod to Lower East Side history—and the accompanying fries come with ketchup plus a quartet of mayo-based sauces flavored with yuzu, curry, basil, and gochujang (Korean chile paste).
Also very good, if not quite up to the house specialty, are the hot wings—tender, deftly fried and seasoned, and spicier than they look. Service is solid, the people are nice, and the mood is casual and sports-fan friendly. Over all, Lau says, “it’s a great addition to the neighborhood.”
Patate Fellow [Lower East Side]
71 Clinton Street (between Rivington and Stanton streets), Manhattan