Best New Restaurant in NYC Is…Inside a Car Dealership?

After crossing the massive showroom, past gleaming new cars and SUVs, then up a flight of stairs, visitors to the new Genesis House will find an extraordinary restaurant that offers a fine dining experience rooted in ancient tradition, techniques, and recipes from Korean noble families that date back to the 1300s.

That is, of course, a far cry from the cookies or hot dogs you might find at a typical dealership. But New York’s new Genesis House is not your typical showroom. In fact, you can’t actually buy a car there.

Rather the massive 46,000-plus-square-foot Genesis House is a masterclass in brand engagement. The space serves as a point of entrée for would-be customers to explore Korean luxury maker’s DNA.

“At 40 Tenth Avenue, we custom designed a space that showcases our brand in harmony and balance with its surroundings” says Claudia Marquez, chief operating officer of Genesis Motor North America. “Genesis House New York is a sophisticated oasis located in the heart of New York City’s Meatpacking District offering extraordinary experiences and community, Korean culinary excellence, innovative architecture, and craftsmanship. It’s a destination for people from around the world to explore and engage with the Genesis brand.”

A major part of that plan is to win over customers’ hearts through their stomachs. Food is a cornerstone of the experience at Genesis House. The restaurant was created in partnership with Onjium, a Michelin-starred culinary innovator and cultural institute in Seoul, which uses both modern and traditional techniques to present ancient recipes from the Korean noble class.

A Korean menu, 700 years in the making

“Korean fine dining is often categorized as ‘modern Korean’,” according to Cho Eun Hee, chef and artisan at Onjium. “In my opinion, however, it’s a combination and application of Western ingredients and recipes with Korean techniques. Onjium’s cuisine is deeply rooted in Korean culture and cuisine and thereby can be considered ‘traditional Korean’.”

The menu is unlike anything else diners will find in the Big Apple or even outside Korea. The restaurant offers a tasting menu as well as à la carte selections. Dishes include suranchae, a transcendent seafood dish from the Silla dynasty (alone worth the price of admission), sophisticated grilled beef, a delicate mushroom broth, an authentic selection of banchan (side dishes) as well as desserts, including a custard with pine nuts, known as ssanghwa-pyeon.

While the restaurant has been open less than a month, reservations are booking farther and farther out—thanks to the stunning flavors and flawless execution. So, if you want to visit, we recommend getting your name down sooner rather than later.

Of course, re-creating food from 700 years ago requires a bit of adaptation and balance. “Challenges arise when attempting to recreate menus from old recipes—whether it be ingredients lost over time, or even recipes that don’t exist at all,” Cho said. “When adjustments have to be made, we try to find acceptable substitutes for ingredients based on seasonality and accessibility. We also try to modernize some of our presentations by applying contemporary technique to our cutting and plating styles. First and foremost, however, we always try to adhere to the spirit and intention of the original dish.”

Genesis vehicle

An experience that offers more than a meal

Along with the showroom and restaurant, Genesis House also offers visitors a Tea Pavilion. Here, guests can indulge in a tea ceremony with curation by Arumjigi. There’s also a reading library curated by Assouline with Korean books and collections on art, design, food, and travel. The Terrace Garden sits alongside the High Line and offers views of the Hudson River and Lower Manhattan.

“We want visitors to walk away from Genesis House refreshed, having nourished their bodies and minds through the experiences they’ve had recharging through relaxation and culinary delights,” Marquez says. “Consumers will certainly notice the attention to detail in the space and on the menu, and that will translate to demonstrating the craftsmanship, design, and engineering of our award-winning vehicles.”

After experiencing Genesis House, customers interested in getting behind the wheel of one of those vehicles, will need to head off to their local Genesis dealership to order one. It’s sure to be a nice experience—just don’t expect a Michelin-level meal.

At time of publish, Genesis House is temporarily closed and scheduled to reopen Dec. 27, 2021.

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