TSISMIS NYC-New Restaurant on the Lower East Side Serves a Taste of the Philippines
TSISMIS (chis'mis) NYC is located in the Lower East Side neighborhood on famed Orchard Street and is set to introduce an elevated casual Filipino-American restaurant to New Yorkers and visitors. Opening June 7th, TSISMIS is derived from the Spanish word "chisme" meaning gossip, which the owners selected with a gathering place in mind to bring people, food and drink together. The owners are husband and wife Stephen Young and Reggie Aguinaldo, both of Philippine descent and residents of New York City for over 26 years. They bring to the table many years of work and personal experience in venture capital, food service, retail, fashion and international travel, and have assembled a culinary team with Executive Chef Jappy Afzelius, Beverage Service Manager Philippe Segura, Sous Chef Ira Mathew and Restaurant Manager Anna Frumenti.
Executive Chef: Filipino born Jappy Afzelius began to learn the fundamentals of French cooking under Alain Ducasse at Chez Allard Bistro in Paris and Benoit Bistro in New York. From there he worked at David Burke Fabrick and the Michelin Bib Gourmand Manila Social Club. He then went to Italy, studying the "Slow Food Movement", a grassroots organization devoted to preventing the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions, and in 2018 received his Master's in Food Culture and Communications from the University of Gastronomic Science in Piedmont, Italy. He has traveled extensively throughout Europe as well as Japan to further discover global cuisines. At TSISMIS, Chef Jappy will deliver a unique menu developed in collaboration with the restaurant's owners and the culinary team, from home-grown recipes with influences from Spanish, Mediterranean and other Asian cuisines.
Design: The TSISMIS NYC restaurant design concept is by New York architect Greg Yang. It is inviting and intimate with a large copper bar anchored at the center. The space resembles a modern tropical bistro, melding the aesthetics of New York and Baguio City, Philippines. Reclaimed wooden tables with one-of-a-kind recycled metal chairs and banquet seating line the restaurant with a designated wall space to showcase curated artworks by featured artists. At the far end of the restaurant is an original mural print by Filipino graphic artist Lei Melendres, pulled from the cover of Chopsoy a food and drink comic booklet publication, a previous project of Stephen Young. The mural serves as the backdrop to a high wood block Chef's Tasting Table for eight guests with a perfect view to the open kitchen and is also the inspiration for the TSISMIS NYC branding and signage program developed by Julian Leon, a New York based art director.
Food: The TSISMIS menu starts with a selection of appetizers under PICA PICA, meaning small bites. Choices include Kale Laing, where Chef Jappy substitutes local kale instead of taro leaves sautéed with shrimp paste and coconut milk; Pinsit Fritos, crispy fried pork dumplings served with a sweet and spicy dipping sauce; Babylou's Lumpia, fried vegetarian spring rolls are a favorite and come from Jappy's mother's recipe; and Gambas, sautéed shrimp with shiso peppers in an olive oil garlic butter sauce.
ENSALADAS offered include the Pinoy Caesar with local grown romaine lettuce, garlic croutons, tuyo (Filipino anchovies) flakes and a spicy Caesar dressing. The Ensaladang Pampagana, a recommended meal starter, features fresh mangoes, ripe tomatoes and a salted duck egg in a Calamansi vinaigrette; EQ's Pinakbet Salad is a tribute to the memory of noted Filipino Chef Ed Quimson, who served this dish in a deconstructed presentation from the classic Pinakbet (the Filipino version of Ratatouille) with a bagoong (fermented baby shrimp) dressing.
A selection of SOPAS are offered with choices like Monggong Sabaw, a vegetarian soup made with yellow mung bean, lemongrass and tofu; and Pancit Molo, a pork-ravioli-style dumpling in a chicken broth with spring onions and fried garlic.
PLATITOS, which are side dishes include: Chayote Atchara, a sweet and tangy squash relish; Gulay Guisado, seasonal leafy greens sautéed in olive oil and garlic; and House Green Fries, made with fresh zucchini and mushrooms.
Featured PLATOS on the menu include TSISMIS' take on Adobo, the national dish of the Philippines with their Adobong Manok Dilaw, Frenched cut roasted chicken in a turmeric soy sauce served with smoked eggplant; Pritong Isda, a pan fried bangus (Milkfish) belly, the choice cut from the national fish of the Philippines, served with chayote and quinoa; Pancit Bihon, a sharing dish that symbolizes long life in celebrations in the Philippines, is comprised of wok fried mung bean vermicelli noodles with sautéed vegetables and tofu; Sinigang, a tamarind based soup with seared salmon filet, poached eggplant, daikon and bok choy; Reggie's Pasta Aligue, al dente angel hair pasta tossed with crab fat sauce and lump crabmeat is taken from the owner's pioneering recipe adaptation of mixing a local Filipino delicacy with Western style noodles; and Kare Kare, Buntot tender beef oxtail in a ground peanut-rice sauce with bok choy, eggplant and green beans, served with rice, bagoong and mangoes on the side.
A Chef's Tasting Menu will be available at the eight seat Chef's Table to inspire conversation, featuring select and seasonal dishes with sake and wine pairings by reservation only.
Dessert options under POSTRES include Maja Blanca, a traditional coconut pudding with sweet corn and ube (purple yam) barquillos that comes from Chef Jappy's grandmother; the Fruity Halo Halo, replaces the traditional shaved ice with coconut sorbet complemented by fresh tropical fruits and coconut juice; and Silvanas, cashew meringue wafers with buttercream and cookie nut crumble.
Beverages: TSISMIS offers a signature cocktail, sake and wine menu developed by Beverage Service Manager, Philippe Segura and the TSISMIS team. Philippe is of French-Spanish heritage and has worked as a sommelier, mixologist and restaurant consultant throughout his career. He has helped open nine restaurants including Le District, Le Singe Vert and Fig & Olive. He graduated from the three Michelin starred La Presqu'ile Hotel/Restaurant in Cassis, France.
Philippe's wine list includes selections from noted regions and wine makers across the U.S.A, Spain, Italy and France to expertly complement the restaurant's flavorful menu.
Selections of the signature cocktails include A La Bira is TSISMIS' version of a Negroni made with Daiginjo Osakaya Chobei sake, Bruno Marino sweet vermouth, aperol, artichoke liqueur and bitters; Baguio Passage is a take on a savory martini with Yatsushika Junmai sake, cucumber, olive juice, infused basil and celery bitters; Dama de Noche is a sweet and bubbly concoction with Paul De Coste sparkling, Kuroushi Junmai Ginjo sake, Lillet Red, Hakutsuru Plum sake and vanilla; an earthly and spicy Pickle Pepper Punch made with Hakutsuru Organic Nigori sake, pineapple, pickle juice, ginger, Thai chili pepper and mint; and Where Else, a lightly spicy citrus cocktail with Akashi-Tai Honjozo sake, Mango sake, pink grapefruit, turmeric and orange bitters.
Non-alcoholic beverages include fresh Calamansi and Buco juice, House Calamansi Soda, TSISMIS signature organic whole tea leaf selections like Coco Vanille, Herbal Elixir and Valentina Rose, and Nespresso coffee.
TSISMIS is located at 143 Orchard Street, New York, NY 10002. Their web site is www.tsismisnyc.com or call them at 646 - 329 - 6875. Their hours are Sunday- Tuesday: 5pm-10pm; Wednesday, Thursday: 5pm-11pm; and Friday, Saturday: 5pm - 12pm. Follow them on INSTAGRAM: @tsismisnyc
Photo Credit: Courtesy of TSISMIS NYC