Faith in Fusion, Restored
Fusion cuisine was first made popular in the 1980s by celeb chef Wolfgang Puck and much to the chagrin of adventurous diners, has since resulted in all manner of hit-and-miss imitations like haggis spring rolls or mascarpone millefeuille with tonka beans.
But one visionary chef who is certainly flying the fusion flag with pride today is Chris Cipollone, marrying his Italian heritage with a variety of partners – Korean, Modern American and French – to produce flavour combinations that have left his patrons dumbfounded… and in a good way!
Cipollone’s new West Village restaurant Piora is housed in an intimate space, lined with reclaimed oak and bare brickwork, that’s warmed by the evening light flooding through a window across the entire back wall, prettily bordered with a flush of foliage.
Cocktails like the Pairs Well (silver tequila, campari, grapefruit, lime juice and creme de cassis) are worthy of a pre-dinner barstool perch, but leave space for the main event. Namely, wonderful flavour mash-ups such as gochujang-marinated octopus with fresh basil and candied pine nuts; seared scallops on sweet corn purée, with earthy Chanterelles, and a salty chicken skin crisp; or rigatoni in a rich red wine reduction, topped with fennel-infused duck sausage, and sweet charred fig. Restore your faith in fusion!