Peter Serpico is reaching into his ethnic past for the Korean stylings of his next restaurant, due this fall.
Serpico - adopted at age 2 by a white couple from suburban Maryland - is also reaching into his past for the name: Kyung Ho, his given name.
(The name "Serpico," of course, is taken - for his edgy-American restaurant at 604 South St.)
Kyung Ho, occupying the former Il Pittore space at 2025 Sansom St. in another partnership with Stephen Starr, will be a "fun, approachable" spot whose menu will be "70 percent authentic," as Serpico told me. The dishes that are by nature Korean will retain "the soul and feel" of the original.
Menu, still in progress, will include soups, stews, noodle dishes, chicken wings, dumplings, and ribs. Some tables upstairs will have BBQ setups.
Serpico, whose pre-Philadephia professional life had him as second-in-command for David Chang's Momofuku empire, did not grow up on Korean fare. "We ate hot dogs, macaroni and cheese - whatever my mom cooked," he said.
Korean cooking, though, "feels right for me and helps me learn about my heritage." His wife, who is Korean American, cooks it at home for him and their toddler daughter.
Kyung Ho's first floor (35 seats) will be pretty much devoted to a bar/lounge with Asian beers and spirits, while the upstairs will seat 65.
ByBlack, an NYC shop that's designed hip spots such as Pietro Nolita and The Flower Shop, has the deal to do the interior.