Hanoi House, a new Vietnamese concept replacing the Hilton brothers' Blackbyrd Warehouse, opens today at 5 p.m. With Vietnamese food, particularly pho, gaining popularity in D.C., it seems like a natural next step for the restaurateurs. Marvin executive chef James Claudio first gave the concept a test drive with the Pho U Vietnamese pop-up at Montserrat House. Now, in concert with his Vietnamese grandmother, Lap Claudio, the chef is bringing a more expansive menu to life at Hanoi House. Along with many of the more well-known Vietnamese dishes like pho, banh mi, and rice noodle bowls you can find two varieties of banh xeo -- crispy rice flour veggie-stuffed crepes with either shrimp or tofu and shiitake mushrooms.
The cocktail menu, created by Brendan Murphy of The Gibson, leans heavily on Vietnamese influences. For fans of pho house favorites, Vietnamese iced coffee or tea, try The Arvin Rifle with coffee, chicory, milk and brandy, or the Silk Road with tea, ginger, vanilla, tamarind, coconut milk and rum. And of course, you can't ignore the sly wink of the Singapore Sling Redux with pineapple, cherry, pomegranate, lemon, orange, juniper and spice.
The interiors have also undergone a dramatic transformation. Gone are the white walls, light wood and mismatched furniture of Blackbyrd. The walls have been painted lucky red and lacquered black with matching red bar stools and deep dark booths perfect for a late night pho fix.
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