September 10, 2005

43 West 24th St. 212-929-1800 This is the latest of Patricia Yeo’s many restaurants, and just as trendy as AZ. There is a bar scene in the front, all those singles seeing and being seen, but the tables in the back are far enough from it to be relatively quiet. The cavernous space is all brick walls, slatted booths, expensively done. The food is Vietnamese fusion, I guess I would have to say. 

The small plates looked the most interesting so we ordered an assortment and were not disappointed. Green papaya and hanger steak salad was superb. Duck pho soup good and authentic. The tuna roll was pleasantly spicy, and the spring roll sampler was very tasty. The winner, however, was the spare ribs with hoisin sauce and peanuts. Throughout, we drank a Penfolds Bin 389 Cabernet Shiraz.

There was room for a shared dessert—chocolate raspberry crème brulee, which was a perfect choice. Then, chocolate chip cookies were passed.

It wasn’t a truly authentic Vietnamese experience, but then we hadn’t gone expecting one. The dishes were inventive, unusual and many were rooted in Vietnamese cooking.

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