NYC FOODIE QUICK BITE: BAOTIQUE

I stopped into Baotique this past week, another restaurant from Chef/Restaurateur Michael "Bao" Huynh. It seems Mr. Huynh opens up a new restaurant every week now, and all the ones I've been to of his are quite good. Baotique is no exception. First you need to find the place though, which is harder than you think. Baotique is located on the first floor of the lounge/club Covet on 55th Street, off of Lexington. The sign outside says "Covet", and there is a small menu outside for Baotique, but this can easily be missed- which is sad, because I think more people should be eating on Chef Huynh and Chef de cuisine Chase Tinio's great modern Vietnamese cuisine.

Crispy crab spring rolls ($9), with pork, shrimp, jicama, and lime fish sauce, will start your meal off right. I eat plenty of great spring rolls at Vietnamese spots in Chinatown, and these are just as good.

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Seared scallops ($14), with radish parsnip puree, Chinese bacon, XO, and curry sauce, are excellent. All the flavors are well balanced, and they were a pleasure to consume. Everything is better with bacon, too.

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Baby lamb chops ($14), served with a spicy Thai basil jalapeƱo pesto sauce, were perfectly cooked and tasty.

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My favorite dish of the night was the fantastic and plentiful Crispy Berkshire pork belly ($22), with taro, New Year pickles, and a carmelized sauce. If you are a pork belly fan like I am, you need to order this dish. It was addictively delicious.

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Spam fried rice ($11), with chinese sausage, pork, egg, and scallion, was a fine bowl of rice.

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I loved the cuttlefish Pad Thai style ($14), thinly cut cuttle fish noodle, egg, chives, bean sprouts, and peanuts. Instead of noodles, they use cuttlefish that looks like noodles, in their take on Pad Thai, and it's an ingenious dish. There was a great tang to the flavor too.

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So, if you are looking for really good modern Vietnamese food in Midtown, definitely stop in the sexy Baotique. I hope you can find it, because food this good, should not be missed.

Baotique
137 E. 55th St. (bet. Lex and 3rd)
New York, NY 10022

212-223-2829