Any Filipino restaurant that nails dinuguan, the rich, saucy, pork blood stew, can be trusted with the rest of the menu, say hounds. Pistahan aces the dinuguan test, JungMann reports: “if it is this tangy and flavorful, I can only imagine how delicious the other dishes must be. Thick, adequately sour and topped with pieces of lechon kawali [fried pork belly], it far surpassed even my Lola’s [grandmother’s]!”

bokkyo, who also loves the dinuguan, endorses a couple of fish dishes as well: tilapia or bangus (milkfish) grilled in banana leaf. “The milkfish was excellent but the Tilapia, wow, this was a dish to transport its eater.”

Open since spring, Pistahan has a cheery vibe (the name means festival) and is holding its own against better-established neighborhood rivals. “While Elvie’s sat empty, Pistahan was brimming with a full house,” JungMann observes, “including 4 girls … squealing with delight over their ube [purple yam dessert], a man who was audibly moaning while eating maja blanca [coconut-corn pudding], and a lively party of 7 which ordered nearly the entire menu!”

Pistahan [East Village]
229 First Avenue (between E. 13th and 14th streets), Manhattan
212-228-9000

Board Link: New Filipino restaurant: Pistahan

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