Kore Steakhouse, which recently opened at Lakewood Ranch’s Waterside Place, is reminiscent of Korean barbecue, but with an emphasis on fine dining and an emphasis on high-quality meat and ingredients. Tables are built around grills that patrons use to cook their own ingredients, making for a fun and interactive experience.
Selections are listed a la carte or in curated combinations. Owner Daniel Dokko, who also owns the two from Sarasota JPan places, recommends ordering the combo dinners, which start at $75 for two and come with a variety of offerings, including pork neck and New York Strip. For $20 more, you can add pork belly, tenderloin and sirloin.
As this style of meal is best enjoyed with friends, Korê (pronounced “core-ay”) also offers a combination for four people. Each is accompanied by benchKorean side dishes bursting with flavor and texture to cut through the rich protein.
But what if you feel intimidated by cooking your own food? Each server is equipped to guide you through the meal, making recommendations on cooking times for each item. These highly trained waiters operate tip-free.
“We offer Micheli-star service with no expectation of return,” says Dokko. Some customers question the no-tip policy, others accept it, and a few slip a few bucks on the table just because.
Dokko does not hesitate to highlight the dolsot bibimbap, a rice dish served in a hot stone bowl. It sizzles at the table while the accompanying rice and vegetables crisp and caramelize before your eyes. Guests can share it at the start of a meal, or accompany their grilled meats for a fun and theatrical side.
Perhaps the most surprising element is the absence of smoke in the dining room. A state-of-the-art exhaust system draws air around the underground grates and circulates fresh air into the dining area every five minutes, preventing meat and smoke odors from taking hold . As a result, diners can smell the delicious scent of grilled Korean ingredients outside before they even set foot inside.
Korê offers a unique experience in one of Sarasota’s newest dining districts. It’s a welcome new addition to Sarasota’s burgeoning food scene.
Korê is located at 1561 Lakefront Drive, Lakewood Ranch. For more information, call (941) 928-5673 or visit the restaurant’s website.