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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Where to Eat and Drink on the Water in NYC

pilot

“New York City is made up of five boroughs and about forty islands, give or take a few. While there’s not a lot of fun stuff happening on, say, Rat Island, or the Chimney Sweeps, the city’s tangle of rivers and bays ensures we’ll always have plenty of waterfront.

Although it’s still too cold to swim in the water off our many shores, it’s certainly warm enough to enjoy some of their sea breezes. And anyways, isn’t it more pleasant to sip a $14 cocktail than to fight off a landfill-fattened Coney Island shark? Whether you’re a Brooklynite, a Manhattanite, a Hog Islander, or just visiting, these are the ten best places in the city to eat and drink while taking in some of our most spectacular waterfront views.”

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New York Restaurant To Host Nine Michelin-Star Chefs In A Special Dinner Series

Chefs Club

“For those looking for a unique and intimate dining experience, there’s now a special dinner series to consider.

Between May 13 and June 18, Val Cantu (Californios), Carrie and Rupert Blease (Lord Stanley), Erik Anderson (Coi) and five other chefs of Michelin-starred restaurants in the San Francisco and Bay Area will take over Chefs Club in Soho—celebrating the key ingredients, cooking and cultural influences Northern California has to offer.

This is the first New York 4×4 dinner series hosted by the Michelin Guide and Chefs Club—a restaurant group that has hosted nearly 200 world-acclaimed chefs on a rotation basis at their Manhattan, Aspen and St. Regis locations since 2012. Running four times each year, each dinner series will see renowned chefs bringing a combined rating of four stars to every table. (…)”

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Joaquin Baca’s Teo and Günter Seeger NY Both Close After Short Runs

“(…) Short-lived restaurants don’t get the same treatment, for obvious reasons, but it’s still unfortunate when ambitious places from established players fizzle out fast. There are all kinds of reasons why these closings happen. But it’s still a bummer to hear that Bushwick’s Teo has closed after just five months of serving cast-iron-skillet okonomiyakis.

The closing came out of nowhere, given what the restaurant had going for it. It wasn’t a rookie chef’s project. The owner was Joaquin Baca, who was David Chang’s first employee at Momofuku Noodle Bar and helped right the ship at Ssäm Bar after a rocky start. Baca helped shape Momofuku in its earliest years before going on to open Williamsburg’s the Brooklyn Star, which closed in May after nine years in Williamsburg. He’s a talented chef who was cooking food people want to eat; short rib over kimchee fried rice, oysters coated in cornmeal and then fried, a confit duck-leg ramen. The news was announced on the restaurant’s Instagram and website, but no reason was given.

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This New York Restaurant Sets the Standard for American Fine Dining

“Their questions might start near where coats are collected, or in the bar. (“Your first time with us?” “Where are you from?”) And their eavesdropping determines whether you might be the sort of diner to welcome lamb chops or lamb brain. Unbeknownst to diners, the intel makes its way back to the kitchen, where an assembly of cooks and servers use it to create one-of-a-kind meals for people who might have booked months ahead for one of 75 seats.

You don’t get a menu when you sit down, in other words. You’re asked to trust chef Dan Barber and associates with your appetite. Barber, 49, opened the dining destination — a 35-minute express train ride from Manhattan, home to the original Blue Hill — with family members 15 years ago, on land donated by the late David Rockefeller Sr. Almost from the start, the one-time dairy barn and its environs, located within the nonprofit Stone Barns Center for Food & Agriculture, have redefined American fine dining.”

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Three Owls Market: One Part Bodega, One Part Restaurant

Three Owls Market

“Lehrer Dumaine seeks to close the gap with Three Owls Market, which is one part bodega, one part prepared-foods all-day cafe and one part bar. The Mamaroneck, N.Y., native who lives close by, (“I’ve got it down to an eight-and-a-half-minute walk,” she says) hopes to serve the neighborhood with New York City bodega staples like Domino sugar, Heinz ketchup and toilet paper — and also feed and imbibe them, with a full menu of hot sandwiches, prepared vegetable dishes and rotisserie chicken, as well as craft beers and wine for happy hour.

To staff her full kitchen, Lehrer Dumaine brought in head chef Greer Lou, who previously worked as a private chef for Jessica Seinfeld at her Hamptons home, and is a veteran of Alice Waters’ Rome Sustainable Food Project.

Lehrer Dumaine has been working on Three Owls since 2017. The landlord for the property informed her the previous tenant — the Nonno Gourmet deli and bodega run by a man named Charlie — wanted to hang up his hat. Lehrer Dumaine said yes, and started on renovations and acquiring a liquor license; a process she says allowed her to become closer with the community.

“The liquor license process required me to meet with the neighborhood associations around here,” she explains. “That was really eye-opening to me because I’d never been involved with city politics before — just seeing how influential the people who live in a neighborhood can be, determining what goes where.”

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NYC’s Balkan restaurants share culture, traditions with classic dishes

Djerdan Burek, a restaurant that was started over

“Most cultures have some kind of crispy, melty combination of bread and cheese: for Italy, it’s pizza; for the United Kingdom, it’s the toastie; for Brazil, it’s pao de queijo. And for the lesser-known “Balkans,” it’s the burek. Reminiscent of Greek spanakopita, burek is a flaky, layered phyllo dough pie that can be filled with the likes of cheese, beef, spinach, potato or apple. (…) Djerdan Burek, with locations in Astoria, Brooklyn and a factory in New Jersey, was started more than 20 years ago by Esma and Hamo Medunjanin, refugees from Bosnia. It was a true mom-and-pop shop then, according to daughter Selma Medunjanin-Ismajli, who took over the business with her two siblings when their parents retired.”

Back in the late 1990s her mother was making burek pies at home in their one-bedroom apartment and selling them to a local Balkan restaurant, and her father saw an opportunity. They rented a building on 34th St. and 31st Ave. in Astoria — where the restaurant is still located — and her mother worked the kitchen while her father worked the floor.”

“At this time many Bosnian refugees had settled in Astoria and not much was available to them,” Medunjanin-Ismajli explained. “We were one of the first Balkan restaurants to start up in the area. It was a very simple mom-and-pop restaurant with homemade food and friendly familiar service. To this day we try to operate and maintain the same principles and service.”

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