Tsismis has a lot of things going for it. The casual space on the Lower East Side has a bunch of plants, murals, and multi-colored light fixtures, along with a bar in the middle of the dining room. The wine list is filled with bottles that cost around $50, and the Filipino dishes, like lumpia, fried fish balls, and strip steak with garlic soy sauce, are all shareable. The problem is that almost all of the dishes taste like they’ve been prepared for someone who has an aversion to spice, salt, and strong flavors in general. The wings with hot mango salsa aren’t hot, the ceviche tastes like flavorless jello, and the angel hair with crab fat sauce doesn’t have any discernible crab flavor. If you’re looking for a spot to get food with a group before a night out on the LES, there are better options nearby.
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Cervo’s is a little place on the LES where you can bring a date and share some seafood-centric small plates, or just sit at the bar and grab a drink.
If you absolutely want to go drink at a speakeasy, Attaboy (on the Lower East Side) is one of the best options.
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Pig And Khao
Pig And Khao is a Thai/Filipino restaurant on the LES that serves great food and feels like a party.
Piggyback is a pan-Asian spot in Chelsea from the people behind Pig and Khao, and it’s a great option for dinner before a show at MSG.
Swell Dive is a restaurant/bar in Bed-Stuy where you can get some nachos and a spam taco at 1am.
Suggested by our writers
Here’s the good news: If you like the idea of eating various pig parts in some sort of spicy chili sauce, you’re going to love this joint. Jeepney is Maharlika’s second East Village restaurant, and this one is a take on a Filipino gastropub.
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