Filipino restaurant Estrellita opens in Grant Park

New Grant Park restaurant Estrellita focuses on traditional Filipino dishes such as pancit. LIGAYA FIGUERAS
New Grant Park restaurant Estrellita focuses on traditional Filipino dishes such as pancit. LIGAYA FIGUERAS

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

The Atlanta dining scene offers an array of international cuisines, but Filipino food is harder to find than most. Hope Webb and Victor Cortado hope to change that with their new restaurant, Estrellita, now open at 580 Woodward Ave., in Grant Park.

Webb is half-Filipino, half-Canadian and grew up in Florida. Cortado’s family moved to New York from the Philippines when he was 3 years old. “They Americanized us,” he said. “They stopped speaking the language. The only thing we kept with us was the food and flip-flops,” he quipped.

With Estrellita, Webb and Cortado hope to give locals a taste of traditional Filipino food, particularly that which Cortado’s mother, Florida Cortado, learned in her native country and taught her children to cook.

Estrellita offers traditional Filipino egg rolls called lumpia, as well as bite-sized Lumpia Shanghai (pictured) filled with ground beef, shrimp, garlic, onions and water chestnuts. LIGAYA FIGUERAS
Estrellita offers traditional Filipino egg rolls called lumpia, as well as bite-sized Lumpia Shanghai (pictured) filled with ground beef, shrimp, garlic, onions and water chestnuts. LIGAYA FIGUERAS

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

Due to the coronavirus, Estrellita will initially only offer takeout and delivery, with a tight menu comprised of dishes such as lechon, lumpia and pancit. The restaurant will also offer an abbreviated weekend brunch that includes items like Hearty Hash Silog (corned beef and hash with a fried egg over garlic rice), Taho (a tofu dessert layered in arnibal syrup and tapioca pearls), and Spam sliders.

Because Cortado’s parents and siblings have all relocated to Atlanta over the years, Estrellita will be a family affair. Florida, Victor, and his sisters, Blesseda Gamble and Deborah Sampson, will all share cooking space in the restaurant’s small kitchen.

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The 20-seat dining room is only 550 square feet, but when it debuts, Webb and Cortado hope to bring a vibe that other Filipino restaurants in the U.S. have lacked.

“A lot of restaurants weren’t anything that had a nice atmosphere,” said Webb. “They were more cafeteria-like. We want to do something trendy and classic with our interior so it can be timeless.”

Capiz shells are a focal point at the Estrellita storefront. These translucent oyster shells found in the coastal waters of the Philippines are frequently fashioned into lampshades, door and windowpane hangings, and other décor items. The ones hanging over a window at Estrellita were handmade by co-owner Hope Webb. LIGAYA FIGUERAS
Capiz shells are a focal point at the Estrellita storefront. These translucent oyster shells found in the coastal waters of the Philippines are frequently fashioned into lampshades, door and windowpane hangings, and other décor items. The ones hanging over a window at Estrellita were handmade by co-owner Hope Webb. LIGAYA FIGUERAS

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

Credit: Ligaya Figueras

Classic touches include the use of capiz shells. These translucent oyster shells found in the coastal waters of the Philippines are frequently fashioned into lampshades, door and windowpane hangings, and other décor items. The ones hanging over a window at Estrellita were handmade by Webb.

Estrellita has a small bar. When its liquor license is approved, it will pour beer by Filipino brewery San Miguel and shake up cocktails inspired by the fruits of the Philippines.

The restaurant will be offering a limited menu through August. The restaurant will expand to its full menu beginning Sept. 1.

Estrellita. 580 Woodward Ave., Atlanta. estrellitafilipino.com

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