Saigon Grill–the popular Vietnamese restaurant that is either really good or just good for uptown, depending on whom you ask–has opened a long-awaited branch in the Village. “If you enjoy the uptown Saigon Grills, you’ll love the downtown version,” suggests newcarcaviar. “The food is identical and prices comparable to their other locations, but the decor is much hipper and vibier.” One early report, though, suggests that the new place has stumbled out of the blocks with missteps in both the kitchen and the front of the house.
In other news, changes are afoot at hound haunt Sullivan Street Bakery, whose co-owners have gone their separate ways. The Hell’s Kitchen shop remains Sullivan Street Bakery. The Sullivan Street original has been rechristened Grandaisy Bakery. So far the menus haven’t diverged much. CornflakeGirl was relieved to find the famous potato pizza as good as ever at Grandaisy. “In fact,” she observes, “almost everything looked the same.” On 47th Street, meanwhile, they’re tearing down walls to make seating space where customers can munch on the newly introduced sandwiches and other chow. First take from Peter Cuce, who has sampled a sandwich of pancetta, mango and basil–“amazing.”
In the East Village, Mo Pitkin’s has pared back its self-styled “Judeo-Latino” menu. “The much-derided ‘Mo’s Pickins’ (a six-way appetizer sampler for $13) is gone,” reports eeee, “but, sadly, so are some of the more interesting dishes”–shrimp al ajillo, tuna ceviche or salad, pasta paella. However, several hound favorites made the cut–including latkes, deep-fried macaroni and cheese, the Mo Burger (topped with fried egg, onions, and chicken liver), and the Cuban Reuben (corned beef, ham, roast pork, cheese, pickles, Russian dressing).
Saigon Grill [Greenwich Village]
91 University Pl., between E. 11th and 12th Sts, Manhattan
Saigon Grill [Upper West Side]
620 Amsterdam Ave., at 90th St., Manhattan
Saigon Grill [Upper East Side]
1700 2nd Ave., at 88th St., Manhattan
Grandaisy Bakery [Soho]
formerly Sullivan Street Bakery
73 Sullivan St, near Broome, Manhattan