Jessica Mousseau is a copywriter & copy editor from the United States. Her work can be viewed at: www.jessicamousseau.com.
Published June 14th 2011
Vietnamese cuisine has its differences from other types of Asian food. The dishes are actually considered very "light", but still extremely tasty. Soy sauce, fish sauce, and different herbs and spices give Vietnamese food its unique taste.
Vietnamese food is usually served with rice or noodles. These give the meal bulk, but you still don't feel overstuffed. If you've never tried Vietnamese food before, there are several restaurants in New York City that specialize in this cuisine. Choose from one of the ones listed below to start your new food experience.
The Spice Market Restaurant is one of several in the Jean-Georges family of specialty restaurants. This particular location serves authentic Vietnamese food for dinner or lunch. You can also order from a tasting menu—this may be a good idea if you've never had Vietnamese cuisine before as you get to try several dishes. You can also order desserts. Lunch specials are also offered.
Mooncake Foods, 28 Watts Street; 263 West 30th Street; 359 West 54th Street
As you can see from the above locations, you're probably not far from a Mooncake Foods restaurant at all. This is a good thing, because that way you can enjoy the authentic Vietnamese food that all of the restaurants offer.
You'll enjoy the very casual atmosphere at all the restaurants. In fact, all of the locations have been referred to as "Asian diners", and that's fine with the owners, because they want to be known as a friendly, relaxed place to eat.
At this restaurant which offers both French and Vietnamese food (remember, Vietnam was once called French Indo-China, so a very strong French influence did exist), you can meet your friends for drinks in the luxurious lounge area, known as the Bombar, for drinks, then retire to the main dining room for your meal. If you are part of a group or corporate event, you can reserve the karaoke machine for your gathering.
If your group consists of 16 or more people, reserve the Red Den. This private dining area is especially designed for such events.
The restaurant that bears this name is located in the Tribeca neighborhood of New York City, but has maintained the traditional atmosphere in which Vietnamese food is meant to be served, rather than copy the "power lunches" atmosphere that other restaurants have adopted. This makes for a pleasurable dining experience.