The Fatty Crew arrives on the Lower East Side with Pig & Khao, a collaboration with Top Chef alum Leah Cohen serving shared plates that riff off traditional Southeast Asian cuisine. The restaurant officially opens tonight in the former Falai space, serving a lunch and dinner menu focusing primarily on Filipino and Thai flavors with notes from other regional cuisines.
The pork-heavy menu promises an intriguing blend of spices, herbs and textures. A crispy pata (pork leg) and picked mango salad comes with soy-sauce/five spice cooked pork shank and coriander and crispy garlic gets dipped in a "secret family recipe" of sweet and sour liver. The grilled pork neck and watermelon salad is served over toasted rice with a zesty chili lime fish sauce, shallot, chicharon and herbs. Finally, if you're not in a porcine mood, (deep breath) try the crispy quail adobo with Szechuan peppercorn, coconut vinegar, soy sauce, bay leaves, crispy garlic, scallion and a soft-boiled quail egg. A nice selection of canned beers, punch, wines and shojis will quench your thirst, but it's the "self-serve bottomless tap" serving seasonal beer in the backyard that really got our motor running.
The design fuses odes to the Lower East Side's 19th century past with elements of Southeast Asian design—a dragon-headed, hand-carved Filipino bicycle adorns a bright green accent wall, while Edison bulb light fixtures hang down from the copper ceilings. The cozy, 1,000 square foot dining area features a long row of tables and the chef's bar, where chef Cohen will nightly prepare her signature dishes. While the weather is on your side, wander out back and you'll find a few tables under trellises in the backyard garden, as well as that alluring self-serve tap (tappable for $15).
68 Clinton Street // 212-920-4485
The Halo-Halo: A Filipino dessert made with shaved ice, leche flan, ube ice cream, macapuno, and pinipig. We're told "the ice cream is really that color; it's not dyed." (Courtesy Zandy Mangold)