When it comes to eating adventures, Vietnam’s flavor-rich, history-filled cuisine is at the top of my list. And while I’m currently buried under too much work in New York City to fly to Southeast Asia for my fix, there’s a spot in town that I’m hoping will help tide me over for now. You may or may not know Le Colonial, a long-established French-Vietnamese restaurant in Midtown East that had its heyday in the '90s as a hot power hangout. Just in time for its 20th anniversary, the restaurant has brought in a young new chef who is jazzing up the menu.
Chef Ron Wing Wee Hsu, 31, who spent four years as the poissonier at Le Bernardin, Chef Eric Ripert’s revered temple to seafood, is making his debut with a spring “Then and Now” tasting, which offers a selection of the restaurant’s traditional offerings (goi cuon, vermicelli salad rolls filled with poached prawns), as well as a few of Chef Hsu’s own creations (I’m eying the scallop ceviche and the Le Colonial Pho, with oxtail broth, ultra-rare beef filet, and seared foie gras). Oh, and there’s the chocolate Sriracha tarte—à la mode for me, please!—reason enough to stop by.
Jennifer Flowers is the Food and Hotels Editor at Travel + Leisure. Find her on Twitter at @JennFlowers.