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  Occasion: Cuisine: Area: Cost: Rating:
  Night Out Asian West Village Moderate Great

There’s something quite unusual about Wong, the latest restaurant from chef Simpson Wong, who has in the past brought us Jefferson, and Jefferson Grill (both no longer) and Café Asean (still thriving after 15 years).

It has nothing to do with the food, though it is a thrilling rickshaw ride through Asia with stops in Malaysia (his birthplace), Hong Kong, and Ho Chi Min City. It has nothing to do with the room, an urban Cornelia-street loft anchored by an open kitchen and food bar, lit softly with glass-domed lights, and crowded with tables so tightly spaced there’s little chance you will be able to exit once you manage to squeeze into your allotted four-inches. And it doesn’t have to do with the waves of people, flannel-shirted, skinny jeaned, banged, and bearded, flocking to the Lululemon-like logo etched onto Wong’s glass storefront like the cast of Jersey Shore to a strip mall equipped with GTL.

The amazing thing about Wong has to do with what’s not in sight: cell phones. While there is no stated policy about them, you won’t see any in the dining room. Nope. No one is asking Siri to remind them of a 9am meeting. No one is checking for new email. No one is texting. No one is meandering through reviews on Yelp. There’s not a cell phone in sight. Instead, people are eating, err, feasting. People are talking. They’re leaning in. They’re laughing. Talking to neighbors. Sharing with them, too. It might as well be 1990 in there, before the dawn of social networks and the loss of social interaction. It’s wonderful.

The couple seated next to us the night Jamie, Susie, and I were having dinner ogled our first courses (duck buns, shrimp fritters, scallops and “meatballs”) with little restraint. We were getting “I’ll have what she’s having,” looks. Completely justified. I’d have done the same in their position, seated within reach from such wonderful food, with only still water to sate them. Well, that is until their bread service arrived, and then, well, they could’ve cared less about our food. Again, I don’t blame them. This bread service is the best in New York City at the moment. (Well, the homemade pita at ilili is pretty fantastic, too.) But here, Simpson serves something beautiful and delicious, a little token from the kitchen that starts the meal on such a lovely note you feel transported to a beach in Thailand und ... [more, click below]

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Other restaurants in West Village :
+ Jefferson-- Closed   + La Palapa Rockola   + Sumile   + Babbo   + Tasca   + AOC Bedford   + Home   + The Spotted Pig   + Barbuto   + Numero 26   + Mas   + August   + Alta   + Cru   + Blue Mill Tavern-- Closed   + Employees Only   + Lassi   + Metropol--Closed   + Turks and Frogs   + Bellavitae   + Yumcha-- CLOSED   + Gusto: SEE EARLIER REVIEW; THIS CHEF HAS LEFT GUSTO   + Perry Street   + Home   + Ditch Plains   + The Little Owl   + Cafe Condesa   + Cafe Cluny   + Gusto   + The Waverly Inn   + Morandi   + P*ONG   + Perilla   + Soto   + Market Table   + Centro Vinoteca   + Barfry   + Dell'Anima   + Bar Blanc   + Smith's   + Commerce   + Elettaria   + Bar Q   + Cabrito   + 10 Downing   + Minetta Tavern   + Braeburn   + Scuderia, by guest reviewer Kathleen Squires   + Bar Blanc Bistro by Guest Reviewer Kathleen Squires   + Joseph Leonard   + Bar Henry, by Guest Reviewer Kathleen Squires   + Kin Shop   + Monument Lane   + Wong   + Bin on Bleecker, by Dara Pollak   + Ristorante Rafele   + Cole's Greenwich Village by Guest Reviewer Claire Jaffe   

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