Address: 119 St. Mark’s Place, New York, NY 10009
Phone Number: (212) 995-5010
Hours Of Operation: 5:30 pm – 10 pm
Type Of Cuisine: Vietnamese
Sara Leveen and Ben Lowell have teamed up on Hanoi House, a cozy East Village spot serving modern comfort Vietnamese fare.
Open for lunch, dinner and weekend brunch, chef John Nguyen’s menu features flame-grilled meats, vegetable dishes inspired by the street food stalls of Hanoi, and a mix of small plates, soups, and stews.
Veteran restaurateurs know that the freshness of each ingredient is crucial in Vietnamese cuisine, which means taking great care in sourcing produce. Heading the shopping list are cilantro for salads, soups, spring rolls, and widely used as the finishing touch garnish; mint, many varieties of which grow in Vietnam; basil, which is poplar in pho and on herb plates; lemongrass, for both sweet and savory dishes; green onions and scallions; garlic chives, with flat leaves and a delicate onion and garlic flavor; Perilla leaf, whose flavoring combines licorice, mint, and lemon all in one leaf; and dill, which is used in a famous Vietnamese fish dish called Cha Ca; and ginger.
Unripe fruits are considered more like vegetables in Vietnam. A green papaya or banana flower, for example, becomes the base for salads in lieu of leafy greens. Usually a bit sour, the unripe fruit pairs nicely with fish sauce, chili, garlic, dried shrimp and finely chopped peanuts.
Appetizers range from Papaya & Crispy Pig Ear Salad (Goi Du Du), with green papaya, watercress, cucumber, peanuts, crispy shallots and sweet soy dressing to Roasted Beet Crepe (Banh Xeo Cu Den) with a crispy rice crepe, roasted beets, charred jalapeño & coconut puree, pink peppercorn nuoc cham and pickled vegetables.
Vegetable dishes include Morning Glory (Rau Muong) with brown butterfish sauce, garlic, capers, and Brussels sprouts (Bap Cai It Cay) featuring charred chili nuoc cham. Produce also figures prominently in meat and seafood entrees such as Turmeric & Dill Fish (Cha Ca) with oven-roasted hamachi collar, turmeric, dill, crushed peanuts, rice vermicelli, tamarind nuoc cham; and Shaking Beef (Bo Luc Lac) featuring pan-seared filet mignon, roasted bone marrow, watercress, heirloom cherry tomatoes and steamed rice.
The restaurant’s brunch menu is highlighted by savory soups such as Chicken Noodle (Pho Ga), with clear and aromatic broth, poached Bo Bo chicken, rice noodles, cilantro & scallion; Vegetable Pho (Pho Chay), with mushroom and seawood broth with classic pho spices, charred Brussels sprouts, roasted beets, morning glory, rice noodles; and the Grilled Pork Noodle Bowl (Bun Cha), featuring lemongrass marinated pork, pork meatballs, crab and pork spring roll, rice vermicelli, pickled vegetables, crushed peanuts and fish sauce broth