Korean and Italian Cuisine ‘Blossoming’ at Modern-American Restaurant Piora

On this “On Foodable Side Dish,” we join Foodable video correspondent Agnes Chung, as she takes us to West Village to explore the Michelin-starred restaurant Piora, a concept brought to life between the collaboration of proprietor Simon Kim and Chef Christopher Cipollone. What makes this upscale and intimate restaurant unique? It pays homage to both of their Korean and Italian heritages.

Behind the Name

Piora means "to blossom" in Korean, and that's what the concept does on a daily basis.

"The whole representation of how a flower blossoms is how the restaurant kind of is. People come in, get all the preparations ready. The restaurant blossoms, opens up — like a flower would. And then it kind of dwindles down. It's like the cycle of life kind of thing," Chef Christopher Cipollone said.

While Korean and Italian cuisine is normally associated with family-style, homey feelings, Piora elevates their dishes to elegance. From the trip the owners took to Korea, they delivered their dishes in a way New York could digest. And following the Italian-cuisine mentality, their dishes rotate often, sometimes switching out dishes in two weeks, to use a few, simple ingredients at their seasonal peak.

"We're really just a Modern American restaurant with just some of the influences of who we are," Cipollone said. "It's more like we're just trying to achieve delicious."

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Behind the Kitchen

In the kitchen, Agnes Chung joins the chef as he prepares two dishes. One is a madai plate that is beautifully arranged with avocado puree, flower salt from Spain, spring flowers, and cereal-puff-like but savory farro for texture. Using liquid nitrogen, Cipollone adds a frozen element to the dish that helps keep the fish cool, and allows it to season and melt on the fish once the plate is served to the guest.

The second dish is a ramp bucatini with pancetta, with the ramps charred on a grill and with dashes of black pepper, salt, and lemon zest. It is put into a mold before it is topped with buttery egg yolk poached in olive oil and parmesan. 

Still hungry for more? Watch the full episode for a bigger bite of Piora.