Cititour: The New York Guide to Events, Restaurants, Music, and Nightlife



Cuisine: Thai


Cititour Review: A confused tourist could be excused for thinking that Ninth Avenue in the West 40s was part of Bangkok and not New York City – what with three branches of Yum Yum Thai, two outposts of Pam Real Food, and an assortment of singular ventures like Tiny Thai and Breeze, a stylish eatery that actually bills itself as a Thai-French kitchen. While technically Breeze lives up to that billing, it’s the Thai segment of the menu that will most impress you. Few spots on the block – or elsewhere – can compete with Breeze’s green papaya salad: the papaya is beautifully shredded, melded with tomato, chili and peanuts in a zingy dressing and crowned with a trio of gorgeously grilled small shrimp. It’s a far better choice than the tri-star combination, an unremarkable platter of fried spring rolls, wontons, and prawn rolls that might be best used as nibblies with one of the house’s very colorful cocktails. (A decent wine and beer list is also available.) Indeed, the fresh mango and crab summer roll at the adjoining table looked much more inviting. Moving onto mains, a special consisting of seared sea bass in a delightfully balanced green curry accompanied by perfectly cooked bok choy and other veggies put a big smile on my dining partner’s face. I was quite pleasantly surprised with the generous amount of sirloin steak – well-charred and served rare as ordered – that arrived when I ordered the “Breeze Steak” (just $14). I was a bit less pleasantly surprised that the salad was little more than undressed arugula. However, the kicky lemon-chili sauce served on the side enlivened the dish in a flash. Not surprisingly, the one area where the French topped the Thai side of the kitchen was in the dessert course. A traditional Thai dessert of sliced mango with sweet sticky rice, though perfectly nice, couldn’t hold a candle to the excellent crème brulee, gently perfumed with a touch of kaffir lime and served with a homemade ginger cookie. On second thought, maybe they don’t make that in Bangkok.
Review By: Brian Scott Lipton

Neighborhood: West 40s

661 Ninth Ave
New York, NY
(212) 262-7777