New York is a melting pot that prides itself on its ethnic food, but one type of cuisine that's glaringly absent from the city's robust culinary offerings is Vietnamese. Thankfully, Hanoi House, a new restaurant in the East Village serving up dishes native to Saigon, the Mekong Delta, and, of course, the capital city of Hanoi, is changing that. Founded by newly engaged duo and Stephen Starr restaurant alums Sara Leveen and Ben Lowell following a month-long couple's trip to Vietnam, the modestly sized eatery with wooden interiors and a tropical vibe boasts a menu of family-style entrées, namely the pho (pronounced "fuh"), a noodle soup made of broth, rice noodles, herbs, and meat, and other unique riffs on the recipe devised by chef John Nguyen. It's so good, in fact, fashion editors and designers (we're looking at you, Alexander Wang) are clamoring for tables.
WHAT TO EAT
Start off with the crispy spring rolls and the papaya and crispy pig ear salad. For the main course, it goes without saying that you should order the beef pho, though we recommend supplementing it with the morning glory—a highly underrated hallow vegetable, cooked in a flavor-packed brown butter fish sauce with garlic and capers—and bun cha (grilled lemongrass pork, pork meatballs, pickled green papaya, crab spring rolls, and vermicelli noodles).
WHEN TO GO
Hanoi House is open for dinner from 5:30 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Sunday and Monday and from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. You'll want to drop by on a weeknight circa 8:30 p.m. if you want to dine with the fashion crowd.
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WHAT TO WEAR
You never know who you'll be seated next to at prime reservation time, so err on the side of caution and sport the trendiest thing in your closet (think: Yeezys and an Off-White sweatshirt).
Hanoi House, 119 St. Marks Place, 212-995-5010; hanoihousenyc.com