Owner Simon Kim (Korean-American) and chef Chris Cipollone (Italian-American) both set out to open a modern American restaurant when they partnered up to open Piora in NYC’s West Village. But what they didn’t know upon teaming up was that both of their respective backgrounds would come into play in shaping their modern American vision. A trip to Korea with Kim influenced Cipollone’s direction with Piora. ”When Simon and I got to know each other, that was kind of when it happened. I never had any Korean influence at all. I never had any exposure to it,” says Cipollone. “The concept sounded very interesting. In America, Korean isn’t as prevalent or exposed as say Japanese or Chinese, especially on a fine-dining level.”
Specific dishes here are less mish-mashy than some others in the genre - at Piora, the flavors are juxtaposed rather than forcibly combined. But you can see a subtle blending going on in plates like the Rohan duck, which is marinated in jujube (Korean date) and served with Italian farro and local carrots. “We’re not trying to push the issue with each dish, that’s just how it worked out,” says Cipollone.