It finally happened – Carlo Lamagna (of Clyde Common) held an all Filipino dinner under the pop up Twisted Filipino December 1 and 2 located this time at Holdfast at Fausse Piste. Hopefully this is just the first installment that I experienced, and we’ll see it popping up again and again in 2017 (I overheard he’s hoping to do the next one in January…) Make sure you follow him on his social media (Instagram, Twitter) to be in the know of his next pop up – this one was sold under Brown Paper Tickets for $80. Here’s a look at the 9 courses of this Twisted Filipino December Dinner.
At the beginning of the evening, Chef Carlo explained how in many ways he was repeating a circle of life – his first Twisted Filipino pop up was also a 2 day dinner event that sold out, was dedicated in honor of his father, but in 2013 in Chicago, when his first son was just a couple months old. This evening, with his second boy also just a few months present, he once again was back solo putting himself on a plate, giving us 9 courses of elevated Filipino food that were nods to his heritage, his history and experience as a chef, and where he wants to go forward.
Also included in this dinner was a welcome sparkling cava drink and 5 additional glasses from the Spanish region ranging from Basque Cider to electric rosé to Luis Rodriguez white wine (this was my favorite pairing of the evening with the Alimasag and Arroz Caldo), an all purpose red that would go with any meat that was fantastic with the Dinuguan, and a sherry to pair with the dessert courses.
Course 1: Lumpia Sariwa
This Lumpia Sariwa is Carlo’s fresh take on the usually deep fried lil meat rolls (which you can get at Clyde Comomon) with hearts of palm, watermelon radish, soy bean sprouts, mustard greens, spiced peanuts (with cayenne and sugar) and a slightly open crispy crepe vehicle brought together with a sweet garlicky sauce. I found this a bit too salty for my taste and still prefer the deep fried version which I can eat oh, like 3-6 of.
Course 2: Pinais na Kabute
Pinais na Kabute, a nod to the traditional cooking in a banana leaf with this pocket filled with various mushrooms, bone marrow, and mushroom tar
Course 3: Tapsilog
Tapsilog, a variation of a traditional Filipino breakfast usually with air dried beef, garlic rice and fried egg, updated here as a dish of marinated and then shredded and dried beef tapa, garlic rice crisp, soft boiled egg, and a pickled corn chow chow as a nod to Carlo’s time with Paul Virant
Course 4: Ginataang Suso
Wild burgundy snails from his The Snail Guy friend Doug, young coconut, saluyot, serrano and coconut broth with ginger and garlic
Course 5: Alimasag
Alimasag, aka how my mom cooks noted Carlo, as he told us a tale of when he was young how they would sear crab with garlic and the roe would get all mixed in and he would pick out every piece even though it meant his food getting cold to make sure he got in on all the deliciousness. Here he makes it easy for us without having to pick out the roe in this dish of dungeness crab, crab roe (with ginger, garlic, a bit of fish sauce, and touch of African hot pepper), housemade alkaline noodles, fingerlime, and chicharron. One of my favorite dishes of the night.
Course 6: Arroz Caldo
For me this was one of the most homey dishes and recognizable as more traditional. It also didn’t hurt as Carlo told us his association with this dish of his dad making this all day and having this dish while opening presents at 3 AM. Arroz Caldo with quail, rice porridge, and scallions. Although his twist was to use quail rather than chicken, he got that bird flavor well infused into the porridge.
Course 7: Dinuguan
A dish also called “Chocolate Meat” of braised pork collar glazed with dinuguan sauce, pork blood adobo, crispy pig ear, and steamed rice cakes of puto (which we laughed as admittedly this last word is a bad word in Spanish but hey a light delicious adorable lil cake in this case) to wipe up every lil bit of sauce. Another of my absolute favorites of the night. This is probably the most attractive that dinuguan can hope to ever be, impressive Carlo.
Course 8: Ensaladang Prutas
Now into the dessert courses. Here’s a play on a traditional Chinese almond dessert here with fizzy lychee, grape, mineola, Thai basil, and almond jello
Course 9: Mamon
Best dessert! Fluffy light chiffon cake with fresh parmesan and marshmallow fluff combining together for his parmesan fluff, pandan ice cream, and white chocolate florentine.
What do you think of these Filipino dishes? Have you had experience with Filipino cuisine before, do you recognize anything from here? What dish most interests you?