Smith Street Restaurateurs Add Vietnamese Cuisine to the Repertoire

By Nikhita Venugopal on February 25, 2013 7:23am 

CARROLL GARDENS — The owners of Southern food restaurant Seersucker are moving from fried chicken to banh mi by bringing a new Vietnamese restaurant, Nightingale 9, to Smith Street.

The restaurant, at 345 Smith St., will be serving Vietnamese classics like banh mi and rice noodle soup, as well as a few of their own creations like Caramel Berkshire Pork with Phu Quoc peppercorn and Poached Hudson Valley chicken salad with cabbage, mint, basil and peanuts.  

A variety of condiments, from their imported fish sauce to herbs and spices, will be on hand so diners can customize the spiciness to their taste.

“There’s a lot you can do with Vietnamese food,” said co-owner Kerry Diamond who started the restaurant, as well as Smith Canteen and Seersucker, with Chef Rob Newton.

Keeping with Seersucker traditions, Nightingale 9 will be using mostly local ingredients including their beef, chicken and fish, said Diamond.

The Smith Street restaurant may be Vietnamese in cuisine, but there’s still a lot of Brooklyn at this spot. The name, Nightingale 9, was taken from an old Brooklyn phone exchange NI9. The eatery was also mostly constructed from pieces found at Build it Green! salvage shop in Gowanus, said Diamond. This includes church pews, public school benches and brass elevator doors used for the bar, according to the press release.

While you probably won’t notice the salvaged furniture, said Diamond, there are still “numbers on the church pews” which might give away its original purpose.

Nightingale 9 will be open for dinner on weekdays from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. and from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. on weekends.

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