Vong was a clear favorite of mine for a number of years. It opened in 1992 in the Lipstick Building at 200 East 54th Street by Jean-Georges Vongerichten whose more current ventures include Spice Market, Public, The Mercer Kitchen and a list of others.
The restaurant, decorated with Thai silks, red lacquer, and gold leaf was designed by architect David Rockwell. The matchbook design leverages and accurately expresses the beautiful interior. The space, transformed from the Italian restaurant Toscana, conveyed Jean-Georges passion for Asia. It featured a Buddhist alter and a display of bowls with spices like coriander, nutmeg and curry. There were silk pillows in cozy banquettes, palm fronds and semi-private rooms with tatami tables. It was a warm reflection on the East.
The cuisine was Thai-inspired French that offered glorious spring rolls, and unique dishes of Lobster, Quail and Squab.
The cuisine was Thai-inspired French that offered glorious spring rolls, and unique dishes of Lobster, Quail and Squab. I had been to the restaurant a number of times and typically ordered the chef’s tasting menu with perfectly paired wine delivered with each course. It was always a delight.
The restaurant, to my surprise, closed in 2009. I actually arrived there on a random night to discover its disappearance and a Wolfgang’s Steakhouse owned by former headwaiter at Peter Luger Steak House, Wolfgang Zwiener.
Sorry to see Vong gone.