Atlanta’s culinary scene is a melting pot of cultures. But there aren’t a ton of Filipino options. Hope Webb and Walter Cortado hope to help change that by opening Estrellita in Grant Park.
A self-described serial entrepreneur with 12 years in hospitality, Webb and business partner Cortado both have roots in Pampanga, often described as the culinary capital of the Philippines. It’s a region influenced by Spain, as well as Japan and America, Webb explains. She and Cortado created Estrellita, which opens in the spring at 580 Woodward Avenue, to bring the food they grew up with to Atlantans.
Named after a song by Manuel Ponce that Cortado’s grandfather frequently hummed, Estrellita—or “little star” in Spanish—also pays tribute to Webb’s mother, whose last name was Estrella. An intimate space that seats 20, Estrellita is designed to be the “little star” of Grant Park, Cortado says.
The restaurant will serve Filipino staples such as beefsteak, chicken adobo, lumpia (similar to spring rolls), and pancit (a version of lo mein). As head chef, Cortado will also make bone marrow soup—a sour, salty, and spicy soup he says rivals ramen—with plantains, bok choy, and beef, served with rice. Comfort foods such as arroz caldo—rice porridge with onions, garlic, ginger—will be available, too.
For brunch, there will be garlic fried rice with fried egg and Filipino sausage and egg sandwiches on pandesal bread with potatoes and banana ketchup. Expect mimosas and Micheladas.
Though Estrellita is unlikely to have its liquor license when it first opens, it will later offer a concise bar program with sangria, Red Horse beer, house red and wine wines, and a couple seasonal cocktails utilizing the tropical fruits of the Philippines, Cortado says.
Located next to Manny’s Grant Park, Estrellita will be designed with Spanish and Filipino influence and “Hollywood regency style,” Webb says.