Tony Liu of Pulino’s Reveals His Pop-Up Restaurant Concept: Interview Part 2


Yesterday chef Tony Liu told us all about the secrets of good pizza-making and how he’s transformed the dough at Pulino’s. Today we switch gears as he gives us his take on the pop-up restaurant trend.

Pulino’s is extending its late-night menu. Is it trying to be more of a clubby destination?

No, I wouldn’t say that. It’s on Bowery and Houston and there’s a lot of clubs down the road so we’re looking for spillover. You can come here and still keep the tunes going.

Where do you hang out after a late night at the restaurant?

I usually go home, but if not, I like the Spotted Pig or I go to Fuleen in Chinatown. It’s not as crowded as New York Noodletown, but it’s still open late.

What annoys you most when you go out to restaurants?

I’m pretty easy. When I go out I try not to think about service. When you work so much, I try not to focus on it and focus on my dining partner.

What are your favorite hangover foods?

Pancakes. Usually one that comes from a box.

What do you guys have for staff meal at the restaurant?

We eat a whole a bunch of things. A lot of Mexican food. Sometimes I make Asian noodles. Last weekend for Memorial Day we had ribs and corn and watermelon for people who couldn’t go to the beach.

What’s your take on pop-up restaurants?

I think they’re cool.

If you had to open a pop-up what would it be?

It would be something where I could cook anything depending on the season. I’d pick singular items and go from there. Like tomatoes — I’d make a pan con tomate and a Filipino marinated tomato salad.

Sounds cool. So are you going to open this pop-up someday?

No. I think Morandi and Pulino’s are keeping me busy.