100 Best Restaurants 2009: Minh’s

No. 62: Minh's

Cuisine: Beautiful, boldly flavored dishes from North and South Vietnam. The kitchen is consistent, confident, and masterful with the fryer.

Mood: Glass cubes and a whole lot of mauve make this quiet dining room look very 1980s. But the space is graced with Champagne-colored tablecloths and lacquered chairs.

Best for: A casual, not-too-expensive celebration (some tables seat ten); low-key dates and family dinners.

Best dishes: The appetizer sampler brings together two favorites, the spring roll and the sweet-potato-bound shrimp cake; green papaya salad with just enough lime and heat; vermicelli bun with pork, both northern and southern styles; crepe stuffed with bean sprouts, shrimp, and pork; lemongrass-marinated short ribs.

Insider tips: Your buck goes far here—portions are family style. Instead of dessert, look to the Vietnamese coffee, strong and thick with sweet milk.

Service: ••

Open Tuesday through Sunday for lunch and dinner. Inexpensive.

See all of 2009's 100 Best Restaurant 

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