Piora: More Monkey Bread Please!

Piora - bar

Dear Food Diary:
One of the best things about blogging is meeting other food lovers. When tabelog had it’s NY Judge meet ‘n greet a couple weeks ago, I met Yvonne and Terry from FilledwithSweets. We immediately made plans to a foodie dinner.

Piora was on top of all our lists and we were able to snatch a reservation for 3 on a weeknight.

Oh my… that monkey bread was the most memorable thing we had that night.

Piora - dining room
The dining room isn’t big, but the intimate setting would be perfect for a date. Though the lighting wasn’t great for our food photos.

Piora - Apple amuse bouche
A cute green apple amuse bouche.

Piora - monkey bread
Monkey Bread
The softest, most airy, buttery and fluffy piece of bread ever. Along with an umami filled seaweed butter and aromatic whipped rosemary lardo to choose from. My palate was completely entertained by the playful mix of East meets West (a reflection of it’s owner Simon Kim and chef Christopher Cipollone). Even without anything, this bread is spectacular.

One of the first times I had to pay for bread during dinner, but definitely worth it. We all agreed to come back and sit at the bar with monkey bread and a nice glass of Riesling after a long day. That would be just perfect.

 

Piora - scallop
Scallop
Nicely chard around the edges, juicy and plump inside. The natural sweetness also brought out by the sweet corn. Earthy chanterelle flavors and crispy chicken skin on top, I wished there were more or bigger pieces to recognize the texture and flavor. It’s very good, but not as memorable as I thought it would be.

 

Piora - duck confit
Duck Confit
The earl grey flavor was lost in the gamey duck flavor. I didn’t find the fatty, crispy characteristics I so love in its traditional version. There were also plum and cucumber in the mix, but I’d skip this next time.

 

Piora - bucatini
Bucatini
They served a full portion 3 way (great way to share). The al dente pasta was covered by the aroma of black garlic and maitake. Sweet dungeness crab was contrasted by chili. A little heat with sweetness and umami. The flavors are great but 2/3 found it too salty. I usually don’t shy away from salt, but this was a bit much for me. I would of found a full portion too oily and salty probably.

 

Piora - suckling pig
Sucking Pig
Radish, burdock and apple.
Piora - suckling pig 2
They took different parts of the pig and press it back together in this crispy on the outside and moist inside”bar”. Crunchy fried burdock strips, a little freshness radish, plus apple’s tartness to even out any fatty note. So good.

I was hesitant about ordering suckling pig – seems to be on every menu these days and not always satisfying, but this version was unique and excellent. It combined all the different textures of the yummy piggy in one. Must go back for more.

 

Piora - sunchoke
Sunchoke
The roasted vegetable had a chard and sweet flavor. So crispy and addictive. Crunchy hazelnut and saba. One of the best side dishes I’ve had. An order of this with monkey bread would make this Chubby very very happy.

 

Piora - strawberry cotton shortcake
Strawberry Cotton Shortcake
Was quite disappointing. Flavors like yuzu, black sesame and eldeflower intrigued the 3 of us, specially Terry who bakes Asian inspired desserts. Yuzu was present but no black sesame at all. And though, the strawberries were fresh and sweet, everything else went downhill from there.

After chatting with proprietor Simon Kim, it was confirmed, they had taken out the black sesame from the dessert but not their menu. I’d like to say, I would skip dessert next time, but then again, they are new and still developing their sweet section (finding new chef), so give them some time.

 

Overall, we all enjoyed our meal. Even though not everything was amazing, their monkey bread did make everything better (I’ve been raving about it since and can’t wait to be back).

 

P.S. Chubby’s Rating:chubby rating 4
www.piora.com
430 Hudson St.
212.960.3801

Piora on Urbanspoon