I always rave to you about Seersucker restaurant in Carroll Gardens, and soon the owners of the restaurant, chef Rob Newton and Kerry Diamond will open another restaurant nearby, Nightingale 9. On February 21, the new eatery will open its doors, featuring Newton’s interpretations of Vietnamese classics and street food, applying the same sourcing and quality standards he has in place at his other restaurants.
Although Newton is a Southern chef who hails from Arkansas, he fell in love with Vietnamese food in culinary school when he was exposed to ingredients such as lemongrass and fish sauce for the first time. To prepare for Nightingale 9, Newton traveled this past summer through regions of Vietnam known for their cuisine—Hanoi, Hoi An, Dalat, Hue, Phu Quoc Island and Ho Chi Minh City—cooking with different chefs, shopping the markets, and of course, trying as many different dishes as possible.
So here’s what I’m excited about: the menu will feature a variety of Rice Noodle Soups such as Berkshire Pork with country ham, cracklins, lemongrass, and annatto; Vermicelli Bowls like Turmeric Catfish Hanoi-Style with dill, peanuts, and scallion; Jasmine Rice Dishes such as Caramel Berkshire Pork with Phu Quoc peppercorn, lemongrass, and coconut water; Salads including a Poached Hudson Valley Chicken Salad with cabbage, mint, basil, basil seeds, and peanuts; Sandwiches, and Appetizers. Newton especially loves the Vietnamese tradition of customizing ones’ food and allowing the diner to determine how spicy his or her dishes are. As a result, diners will be encouraged to use various dipping sauces, hot sauces, and herbs, all important components of the meal.
In their usual fashion, all meat and fish will come from the Hudson Valley, Dutchess County, and Long Island. The well-known Caputo’s Bakery in Carroll Gardens is making a special baguette for Nightingale 9’s take on Banh Mi, the famous Vietnamese sandwich. Other ingredients and produce will come from Chinatown and the Carroll Garden’s Greenmarket, where Newton is working with several farmers to grow hard-to-find ingredients specifically for Nightingale 9. Fish sauce, an important ingredient in Vietnamese cuisine, will come from Phu Quoc Island, while the house soy sauce will be Bluegrass Soy Sauce from Bourbon Barrel Foods of Kentucky.
Beer and white wine will be on tap, and of course they’ll serve up coffee in traditional Vietnamese fashion.
Visit Nightingale 9 at 345 Smith St starting Feb 21. It will be open for dinner on weekdays from 6pm-10pm (closed on Wednesdays), and from 6pm-11pm on weekends. Lunch service will begin in the near future.
I. Can’t Wait.