Take the L Train to Manila

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When most people think of Williamsburg, they think of Instagram-worthy coffee shops and hip farm-to-table restaurants. Snuggled in the heart of Brooklyn's dining hub is Manila Social Club, a family-owned Filipino and French-inspired eatery founded on the philosophy of bringing people together through food. A permanent expansion of many successful pop-up dinners hosted by Björn DelaCruz, this brick and mortar aims to both demonstrate DelaCruz's unique perspective on dining and his family's hospitality in equal measure. Although the dishes do not qualify as traditional Filipino cuisine, they do very much incorporate conventional ingredients and flavors, but with an inventive twist. Most importantly, the warmth and hospitality of Filipino culture comes out not only in the food but the overall environment of Manila Social Club. So, the next time you're in Williamsburg, remember to stop by, dine, and socialize:

Lumpia Shanghai
Longanisa, Sweet Chili Sauce, Spicy Aioli

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Calling all spring roll connoisseurs! Believed to have originated from Shanghai, Lumpia Shanghai are the Filipino relatives of their Chinese fried roll appetizers. Traditionally filled with a mixture of meat, vegetables, and spices, these small bites are packed with flavor and texture. At Manila Social Club, these crunchy munchies are freshly hand-rolled every morning and DelaCruz replaces the traditional mixture with pure longanisa,or Filipino pork sausage (aka "sweet fatty goodness")The sweet chili and spicy aioli dipping sauces are the perfect accompaniment and provide an extra layer of flavor. Every bite will rock your taste buds - be prepared to eat about five...or six...or the entire plate.

Ceviche Tuna, DRAGON FRUIT, Caviar, Salmon Roe

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If you're not into pork, fret not, Manila Social Club's ceviche will come to the rescue. Almost too pretty to eat, this dish is not only visually appealing but flavorfully satisfying. DelaCruz prides himself on using fresh seasonal ingredients, changing the recipe based on what's in season or what he's inspired by that specific day. The addition of salmon roe and caviar to the traditional ceviche recipe is unexpected but surprisingly pleasant. A spoonful of this Filipino-inspired dish will transport you from Williamsburg to the sunny beaches of the island nation.

Duck Adobo Sunchoke PurÉE, Chanterelle Mushrooms, Yu Choi, Adobo Sauce

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One of the shining stars and best-sellers on the menu is, hands down, the infamous Duck Adobo. This dish not only looks elegant but will make you feel like royalty with each and every bite. Crispy on the outside with a succulent interior, the pan roasted duck is cooked to perfection as each forkful melts in your mouth. The mushrooms are packed with intense flavor and the adobo sauce is incredibly aromatic. This rich and satisfying dish will have you heading straight from the restaurant to your bed with the most intense, yet non-regrettable food coma.

Surf & Turf Roast Prok Belly With a Passion fruit BBQ Glaze, Summer Salad

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There's no better way to prepare to hibernate through the chilly winter season than with a generous portion of pork belly. The sweet caramelized onions pair perfectly with the meat's soy glaze while the side summer salad refreshes your palate from its heavier neighbors. An entire plate of this dish might be a bit too heavy, so we recommend that you order it for the table to share. Step aside southern BBQ, Surf & Turf is in town.

Manila Social Club 2 Hope St Brooklyn, NY 11211