Innovative Filipino Dishes Come to the Lower East Side


“The flavors of the Philippines are interpreted inventively in the hands of Jappy Afzelius, a Filipino executive chef who worked at high-end kitchens in France, Italy and New York. Starters, called pica pica, include pinsit fritos or pork dumplings, fried vegetable spring rolls called lumpia, and kale laing sautéed with shrimp paste and replacing taro leaves with kale. Mr. Afzelius adds Filipino ingredients to a Caesar salad; uses French-cut chicken breasts in his chicken adobo with turmeric soy sauce; includes salmon in sinigang, a typical tamarind soup; and serves traditional Filipino milkfish belly called bangus, fried with chayote and quinoa. His halo-halo dessert uses coconut sorbet in place of shaved ice. Not only does the menu expand your Filipino vocabulary, but you may also note that the name of the restaurant is a play on the Spanish word chisme, or gossip. The intimate room has a tropical feel, a copper bar and a chef’s table with eight seats facing the open kitchen. Philippe Segura, the beverage director, selected the wines and sakes. The owners, Stephen Young and Reggie Aguinaldo, have Filipino roots.”

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Giant Food Stores Opens 6 locations in 4 States

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“With the six new locations, Giant now operates 178 supermarkets in Pennsylvania, Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia. The stores also include 132 pharmacies and 99 fuel stations.

“These multiple store openings align with our aggressive long-term growth strategy: entering new markets where it makes sense and expanding our offerings for our current customers,” Giant Food Stores President Nicholas Bertram said in a statement.

Giant’s latest strategic investments have focused mainly on its core Pennsylvania market.

In February, the grocer launched Giant Direct Powered by Peapod, an e-commerce hub in Lancaster, Pa. The company, which has four other e-commerce centers in Pennsylvania, said that banner will become its online grocery brand going forward. Giant also unveiled plans to open three more Giant Heirloom Markets in Philadelphia. The urban store format premiered in the city’s downtown in late January, and the next location is due to open this summer, with all the stores in operation by the end of the year.

A couple of new supermarkets are in the works as well. Giant said it plans to open new stores this year in East Stroudsburg and Walnutport, Pa. In November, the chain had opened a Giant store in Lancaster’s Willow Valley area that was acquired from Darrenkamp’s Markets.”

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Thailand’s South Gets Its Due in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Lately, when it comes to Thai food in New York, the spotlight has been on the spice-fueled cuisine of the Isan region, in the northeast. But the restaurateur Kittigron Lertpanaruk, also known as Khun Oh, is from the south, where curries dominate, and he feels it’s time to give that part of Thailand its due. His new restaurant, decorated with red hanging lamps, gilded Buddhist statues, temple bells and carved wood panels, features a long list of curries. They include cua kreang, a dry curry; gaeng kua, a black pepper curry; and tiplah, a salted fish paste curry. But Mr. Lertpanaruk, who founded the chain of Asian restaurants called Spice and who recently became a partner in Arun’s, a highly regarded Thai restaurant in Chicago, also knows what’s popular, so the menu has dishes like crispy spring rolls, tom yum soup, pad Thai, green papaya salad, satays and mango salmon.

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Michelin-Starred Kyo Ya’s Longtime Chef Is Leaving to Open His Own Restaurant

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“Kyo Ya has been open since 2007, one of the first kaisekis in the city before the influx of Japanese restaurants — serving an eight-course seasonal menu for $150 with ingredients from all over Japan, including raw fish like whelk, sea eel, and abalone. Times critic Pete Wells gave the restaurant a three-star review in 2012, praising Sono’s mastery of seasonal ingredients, and it’s been awarded a Michelin star for many years.

Despite its critical acclaim, the restaurant has remained a bit of a hidden gem, bearing no signage for its lowkey subterranean space. In 2015, it also spurred a French-Japanese spinoff called Autre Kyo Ya, which has since closed. Eater has reached out to the restaurant’s ownership for details on what’s next for Kyo Ya.”

“Chikara Sono — the executive chef who led acclaimed East Village Japanese restaurant Kyo Ya to a Michelin star — is leaving the restaurant after 12 years of cooking up a multi-course kaiseki menu of raw and hot small plates. The star chef plans to open his own restaurant. Sono tells Eater that he’s leaving on March 31 in order to open a restaurant of his own; he has already started scouting spaces. In the meantime, Sono will do catering and consulting.”

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New NYC restaurants include Pastrami Queen, Black Seed Bagels expansions

You can now get Pastrami Queen's corned beef

Pastrami Queen

“The longtime Jewish deli has added a second Manhattan location. Like the Upper East Side location, the new Times Square joint will serve Jewish staples like corned beef and brisket sandwiches, matzo ball soup and latkes. The outpost will also exclusively offer an all-day breakfast menu with items such as pastrami and eggs and Belgian waffles.”

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Toby’s Estate Doubles Capacity with New Bushwick Roastery Cafe

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“Toby’s Estate has opened its second production roastery in the Bushwick neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York, alongside a new cafe space with seating for 40, a daily brunch menu and a pourover bar outfitted by Saint Anthony Industries.

The New York arm of the Australian-born brand created by Sydney native Toby Smith in 2001 is co-owned by Amber Jacobsen and Adam Boyd, who first opened a Toby’s Estate roastery cafe in Williamsburg in 2012.

Since then, Toby’s Estate has opened four other retail bars throughout Brooklyn, Manhattan and Queens, with a temporarily closed Flatiron location in Manhattan to be replaced this year by another Flatiron bar, according to the company.

At 8 Wilson Ave. in Bushwick, the new roastery will allow the company to double its current production capacity with the addition of a 22-kilo Probat roaster. The roastery will also be home to a new wholesale partnership initiative, through which cafes, restaurants or other wholesale partners can receive a more tailored coffee program.”

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Murray’s Opens a Mac-and-Cheese Restaurant in the West Village

Murray’s has a cheese store that also sells charcuterie and condiments on this busy West Village block, and, a few doors down, Murray’s Cheese Bar, serving wine and a cheese-friendly menu. Now, in an empty storefront, formerly Amy’s Bread, on the same block, the company has opened a macaroni and cheese restaurant. It’s a counter-service spot, with 20 seats, featuring a build-your-own menu. Start with a bowl of pasta cooked with cheese and other ingredients, then add other cheeses, vegetables, meats, sauces and toppings, all in four possible portion sizes (snack to family). Classic, barbecue, French onion and Buffalo chicken are among the style and flavor options. The pastas — all radiatori — are made by Sfoglini, a pasta company in upstate New York. There’s also a breakfast mac and cheese made with sausage, bacon, egg and Cheddar that’s served only on Saturdays and Sundays.

254 Bleecker Street (Leroy Street), 212-243-3289, ext. 350, murrayscheese.com.

See more Openings here.