Small Bite: Tanám Sets a Semi-Permanent Home in Somerville

Tanám chef Ellie Tiglao is bringing food inspired by her Filipino heritage to Bow Market.

Photo by Toan Trinh

Deep-fried pork belly. Juicy, just-sliced mango and pineapple. Veal spring rolls. Piles of sticky rice. Those are just a few of the nearly two dozen edible elements Tanám chef Ellie Tiglao might artfully arrange on banana leaves as part of a traditional kamayan-style dinner, inspired by her Filipino heritage. For years, the eat-with-your-hands dining experience was available in Boston only to those who snagged a spot at one of her exclusive pop-up events. Now, with Tiglao’s forthcoming permanent location in Bow Market, the movable feast is staying put for a while; in addition to regular dinner service, the chef will host an elaborate communal meal in the space once a week. “It’s a little bit like [a] choose-your-own adventure,” Tiglao explains. “You have all of the things you might consider appetizers, mains, and sweets on the table at the same time.” Fittingly, tanám means “planting or fruiting” in a Filipino regional dialect that Tiglao speaks at home. “And this feels like setting my roots down,” she says.

Bow Market, One Bow Market Way, Somerville, 617-863-6225,