Cuisine: Vietnamese , Japanese
Menu: Add your menu. It's Free!
If nothing else, Hue (pronounced Whey) deserves an award for most remarkable transformation of a restaurant space. For a zillion years, this West Village corner spot was the home of the supremely kitschy Cucina Della Fontana, a rococo Italian restaurant complete with Roman fountains.Review By: Brian Scott Lipton
Now, this bi-level space is one of the sleekest, chicest eateries in town, a vision of black lacquer and warm Asian accents. Some diners may prefer the street level dining areas. I was thrilled to be in the spacious downstairs, which also houses a separate lounge -- not to mention the extremely beautifully bathrooms. One caveat: the downstairs is not a place for quiet conversation – especially during prime dining hours.
Of course, after a couple of the house's specialty cocktails, you may not care about the noise. Or the food, as good as much of it is. The pan-Asian menu includes dishes from both Japan and Vietnam, some with a French twist. A starter of six pork and beef meatballs, served on two skewers atop rice noodles, was very good, while three translucent ravioli filled with a well-seasoned vegetable mixture got my companion's meal off to a pleasingly light start. (And our sharp and adorable waiter Peter quickly subsituted soy sauce for the usual fish-based sauce once he was informed that my companion is a strict vegetarian.)
For mains, you simply want to forget the entrees and make your way through the extensive sushi menu, which includes a number of inventive and delicious rolls. Do be warned that your bill, which will run more than $50 a person no matter what path you take, may run even higher with this option.
If you do go the conventional route, I recommend the duck two ways – a beautifully sliced, gently sauced breast served atop a bed of delicious steamed spinach, and a lush confit over mounds of watercress. Trust me, there was nothing like this on the Cucina Della Fontana menu.
Neighborhood: Greenwich Village
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