Bayside, New York
April 26, 2005
The menu is undeniably French, with a sprinkling of this and that; we tried the Nem, of course, which are those heavenly spring rolls, but they were a bit on the dry side. Nothing on the menu is over $10, and a typical day’s servings look like this:
· Soupe a l’oignon (onion soup)
· Soupe de legumes (vegetable soup)
· Salade de tomates (tomato salad)
· Spaghetti Bolognese/Carbonara/Napolitaine
· Nems (spring rolls)
· Filet Boeuf (beef steak)
· Boeuf sauté aux nouilles (noodles with sautéed beef)
· Poule aux champignons (chicken and mushrooms)
· Cotelette de porc (pork cutlets)
· Crepes au fromage, crepes sucres (with cheese, with sugar)
What I absolutely loved about this place were the conversation areas, anchored by huge sofas and armchairs. Center coffee tables facilitate the service of food. Round and square tables with chairs are in the center and the bar is in the rear. A straw-matted ceiling secures the overhead fans and faux hanging lampshades. Table candles add a romantic mood that goes well with the music. An étagère displays some local art, and I immediately spotted a rather old, black and white photograph of Andre Malraux next to the bar.
For those not familiar with Malraux, he was a writer, a poet and a politician despite himself. Incidentally, his book, The Royal Way, is being adapted in an upcoming film which will start shooting in Vietnam this fall, making it the first U.S. movie to be filmed in the central highlands of Hoa Binh. Malraux served as ex-President De Gaulle’s ambassador during the American war with Vietnam. In fact, he had been one to suggest the North and South division of Viet Nam to the Chinese. The proposal was instantly repudiated, and China declared its support in the struggle against the United States.
It is apparent to me by the presence of the picture on the wall that the Vietnamese were fond of Malraux. He died in 1976.
From journal Chao Ban Vietnam!!