Filipino restaurants Archipelago and Kasama have been named among America’s 50 most vibrant and delicious restaurants in a best-of list by The New York Times.
Archipelago in Seattle and Kasama in Chicago made the new “The Restaurant List” that the U.S. publication is “most excited about right now” released on October 12, 2021.
The Times’ 50-restaurant guide is curated by food critics, reporters, and editors across the United States to highlight “the rich mosaic of American dining” while guiding diners as they explore restaurants again after 19 months of closures and restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The list features Seattle’s Archipelago, a Filipino contemporary restaurant that blends Pacific Northwest cuisine and Filipino American flavors, founded in 2016 by Filipino-American chefs Aaron Verzosa and Amber Manuguid.
“It’s rare for the chef to check in with diners at the end of the tasting menu and make sure they’re feeling full, but Archipelago isn’t like any other tasting,” The New York Times’ Tejal Rao wrote.
Among the Filipino dishes noted by The Times’ restaurant critic Tejal Rao was Archipelago’s pan de sal described by Rao as having “a sweet, buttery perfume”.
“Burning pine needles, and the rich, muscly scent of shrimp paste waft over from the open kitchen. Cooks walk around with a tray of sliced rib-eye steak, offering seconds. You could easily get lost in the deliciousness of the modern Filipino food, but Aaron Verzosa and Amber Manuguid do more than send out excellent food,” Rao adds.
“They tell complicated, expansive stories about the Pacific Northwest and the many ways that Filipino immigrants have shaped it, using words, pictures, and even some unexpected dance moves behind the pass.”
The second Filipino restaurant to make it on the list is Kasama, an acclaimed bakery and modern Filipino restaurant located in the East Ukrainian Village neighborhood of Chicago run by husband-and-wife team Genie Kwon and Timothy Flores.
Flores was praised for his “unpretentious and soul-warming” take on Filipino food, which includes Pinoy staples like lumpia and adobo.
“Try his excellent take on a Chicago-style Italian combo sandwich, made with longaniza,” Priya Krishna, food reporter for The New York Times, wrote.
Kwon, a pastry chef who worked at Eleven Madison Park and Flour Bakery, was lauded for putting out “delicate, inventive treats, including a ham-and-cheese croissant-like none you’ve seen, replete with raclette and topped with dainty shavings of serrano ham.”
The cozy neighborhood cafe in Chicago was featured in Michelin’s Bib Gourmand list along with Filipino restaurant Purple Yam in Brooklyn, New York City in 2021.
SEND CHEERS in the comments below to Filipino restaurants Archipelago and Kasama for being named among America’s 50 most vibrant and delicious restaurants in a best-of list by The New York Times.
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