8 NYC Culinary Couples That Warm Our Hearts and Fill Our Bellies
From the PB&Js our mom used to pack in our lunches to catching up with our besties over wine and cheese, food is definitely our love language. And love is always on the menu at these NYC eateries that are run by talented pairs who support each other in and out of the kitchen. Meet some of the city’s most adorable culinary couples.
Nilea Alexander and Lamine Diagne of Cafe Rue Dix
You need the French-Senegalese eats and cozy neighborhood vibes of this Crown Heights café in your life. “We enjoy working together because we cannot imagine it any other way,” the couple says. Aww. The sweet duo dishes out some incredible food, like thiebou jen, a hearty dish of fish, veggies and rice (and the national plate of Senegal), and mafe, a spicy, peanutty beef stew.
1451 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn; caferuedix.com
Sara Leveen and Ben Lowell of Hanoi House
Founded by restaurateurs Sara Leveen and Ben Lowell, this East Village hot spot is known for its innovative takes on traditional Vietnamese cuisine like Hanoi-style pho bac and grilled pork bun cha (courtesy of chefs Daniel Le and Albert Nguyen). The pair, who will open the casual all-day spinoff Hanoi Soup Shop next, first met in 2011 at the opening of Makoto in Miami. A true restaurant love story, no?
119 St. Marks Place; hanoihouse.com
Ahmet Kiranbay and Armando Litiatco of f.o.b.
Stepping into this Filipino barbecue joint feels like entering the home of a good friend: Vintage family photos line the walls, and the kitchen dishes out updated home-style recipes like overnight chicken adobo and grilled flounder in banana leaf. Thank couple and co-owners Ahmet Kiranbay and Armando Litiatco, who have a knack for always making guests feel welcome.
271 Smith St., Brooklyn; fobbrooklyn.com
PETRA AND ROBERT PAREDEZ OF PETEE’S PIE COMPANY
One taste of one of the goods at this homegrown pie shop will put a big fat grin on your face. Married partners in life and business, Petra (the namesake Petee) and Robert Paredez are known for their classic recipes made with organic flour and local ingredients. (Run, don’t walk, to get the Nesselrode pie, made with chestnut custard and rum-soaked cherries.) Can’t pick just one flavor? Order an assortment of mini pies, available for delivery or pickup at the LES and Clinton Hill locations.
Multiple locations; peteespie.com
Debbie and Kevin Adey of FARO
Whatever else you order (and you’ll want to get everything on the menu), go for at least one pasta dish at this Michelin-starred Bushwick gem, where the fresh pasta is handmade using flourmilled on-site. The restaurant, which means lighthouse in Italian, is the love child of chef Kevin Adey and his wife, general manager Debbie Adey. Last year, the pair expanded their love story with the opening of the Sichuan eatery General Deb’s (guess who it’s named after).
436 Jefferson St., Brooklyn; farobk.com
LETICIA “SKAI” YOUNG AND RAYMOND MOHAN OF LOLO’S SEAFOOD SHACK
You can’t quite hear the ocean at LoLo’s Seafood Shack in West Harlem, but you can definitely taste it. For married owners Raymond Mohan and Skai Young, the little hideaway with picnic tables, an outdoor garden and steam pots overflowing with shrimp, crawfish and crab legs is a love letter to both the Caribbean and New England.
303 W. 116th St.; lolosseafoodshack.com
Elisa Marshall and Ben Sormonte of MAMAN
There’s no way to follow Maman on Instagram and not find yourself at one of its dreamy French cafés at least once a month. And did we mention Elisa Marshall and Ben Sormonte? The très adorable couple met at a club in Montreal in January 2012. Two years later, they opened the first Maman, which now has multiple locations in NYC, Toronto and St. Barts. “I love love love our story,” says Marshall. It’s too long to share here, but ask her about it the next time you stop in—it’s a good one.
Multiple locations; mamannyc.com
DANIEL STRONG AND DANIELLE RICCIARDI OF CHICKPEA & OLIVE
If you’re trying to eat less meat, Chickpea & Olive is here to help. The Brooklyn company, which has locations inside the Williamsburg Whole Foods and at Smorgasburg, dishes up plant-based versions of classic comfort food like a beet burger and a jackfruit cheesesteak. And it might never have happened if Daniel Strong didn’t start cooking vegan for Danielle Ricciardi while trying to get her to fall in love with him.
Multiple locations; chickpeaandolive.com