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200 E. 54th St. (Second & Third Aves.) Send to Phone
Perfect fusion, layering French and Thai flavors in an exquisite presentation.
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Local Deals: 120 * 90

Lunch Mon.-Fri., Dinner nightly

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  • 3.0 star rating
3.0 rating over 6 reviews


: Between the glittering atmosphere, beautiful people, and last-but-certainly-not-least food, you’ll feel like you’ve walked into a sensory extravaganza at Vong. That it’s on its way to becoming a minichain (with branches in Hong Kong, London and Chicago) makes Jean-Georges Vongerichten's Thai-French emporium no less remarkable or unique. David Rockwell's décor is an Asian fantasy: burnt orange and salmon colors, collage-covered walls with faux decay and faded newspapers, potted palms, recessed booths, louvered-wooden shades, spice displays, gold-leaf details and even a small shrine. The menu---one of the first really successful attempts at fusion cuisine---marries Vongerichten's French heritage with his fascination for Thai food that developed in his many years as a chef in Bangkok. These days, while Vongerichten busily expands his restaurant empire, Pierre Schutz manages the kitchen, and he's carrying the torch admirably. The crab spring roll with outer crunch and inner delicacy and lobster with Thai herbs are deceptively simple in presentation, but extremely exotic in flavor.

User Ratings & Reviews for THIS RESTAURANT IS CLOSED Vong
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Reviews 1 - 1 of 11
Vong: A deep disappointment on New Year's Eve 2008
by Dimsdale on Thu Jan 01, 2009 7:47 am
We are very enthusiastic about food and restaurants and excitedly anticipated our New Year’s Eve dinner at Vong. The dinner was a disappointment from first to last.

The amuse bouche was comprised of a nicely spiced rich coconut broth with a skewer of three dry, rubbery, overcooked pieces of chicken. We thought about complaining or sending them back, but decided that we could forgive a bad amuse bouche, since it was prepared on a grand scale to be served to everyone in the restaurant, and, therefore, ours might have been neglected for a while under the heat lamps.

Next came the “Vong Tasting Plate,” which included a communal appetizer sampler plate of spring rolls, fried breaded shrimp, quail, etc., and a separate plate of 4 dipping sauces, which was served to each individual. Most of the food was mediocre. The shrimp was well cooked, was served at the proper temperature, and worked with most of the 4 sauces. The quail was just cold and didn’t match any of the 4 sauces. The other items included “cigars” (long, thin, fried rolls with no particular character or distinction from what might be found in the frozen food section of the supermarket) and cold, flabby rolls of cut vegetables that no sauce could enliven. The concept seemed to fail, as well, since the sauces were quite different from one another, leaving the diner – at best – uninformed about what the chef/restaurant considers the optimal way to enjoy the food, and – at worst – free to make atrocious combinations.

When the server came to clear the tasting plate, we mentioned that the chicken in the amuse bouche was overcooked (believing that Vong might want to correct this) and were given a nonsensical incomprehensible excuse with no apologies or assurances that action would be taken.

The first choice of 2 entrees included black sea bass with zucchini noodles and lemon grass broth (the bland, nearly flavorless choice I made) or a buttery lobster plate with Thai herbs and bok choy, which turned out to be the best dish of the night. The lobster was cooked properly and the flavors were well-conceived and well-executed. The bok choy was soggy and flavorless.

The next choice of entrees included duck breast or beef tenderloin. The duck with tamarind-sesame sauce was fine – though tough enough in places to be difficult to cut with a knife (!) – but the accompanying pineapple fried rice was flavored with an overwhelmingly powerful tangy-sweet sticky sauce that it was nearly inedible – and certainly not enjoyable!

The biggest failure of the night, however, was the beef tenderloin with Asian noodles and ginger broth. The beef itself was of a high quality and cooked perfectly. This lovely beef was then coated with an awful combination of spices and plunged into a ginger broth. The combination was an assault on the mouth. My dining companion (the more optimistic of the 2 of us) took a bite and immediately removed it from her mouth and I considered doing the same. At this point, after a few more efforts to find something redeeming about this dish, I started texting friends about good pizza places in midtown. Our server cleared away the barely-consumed bowl without even asking whether we’d enjoyed it.

We expected the dessert (prepared by a different chef, after all!) to elevate the experience. It failed miserably, as well. The “New Year’s Dessert Trio” included (i) a thick, black scoop of chocolate/coffee sorbet sludge (even my coffee-addicted companion winced after tasting it); (ii) a layered cake with cream between the layers, dusted with cocoa, which was fine if unexciting; and (iii) a small hollowed-out orange filled with a foamy/creamy sickeningly sweet orange mousse (reminiscent of that orange jello-cool whip –canned fruit salad dish that occasionally surfaces at the office potluck).

Our very special, long awaited New Year’s Eve dinner at Vong was a dismal failure! We paid the $400 bill – including the 20% gratuity that had been added “for our convenience” – and my dining companion, dressed in a gown for the special New Year’s dinner, and I wandered into the cold New York night in search of decent food.

Jean-Georges, we are so deeply disappointed! Do you know what is happening at your restaurant? We can only assume (and hope) that you were not at the helm at Vong last night.
Reviews 1 - 1 of 11
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