Flavors of Laos Find a Home in TriBeCa Eatery

By Irene Plagianos on July 29, 2013 2:10pm 

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 Khe-Yo Opens in TriBeCa
Khe-Yo Opens in TriBeCa
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TRIBECA — A taste of Laos can now be found Downtown.

Khe-Yo, a Laotian-inspired restaurant, opened at 157 Duane St. Monday, bringing its exotic Southeast Asian flavors to TriBeCa.

“Laos sits between Thailand and Vietnam, and the cuisine reflects those flavors, but has its own unique twist," said Nick Bradley, co-owner of Khe-Yo.

The executive chef of the new 64-seat eatery, Soulayphet Schwader, a native of Laos who grew up in the Midwest, has come up with a menu inspired by the food he ate at home, Bradley said.

“It’s a comfortable, warm atmosphere in restaurant, “ Bradley said. “Like you would at home, the food lends itself to sharing.”

Every meal comes with sticky rice, a Laotian staple.

"That’s the base — it’s like having a basket of bread on the table,” Bradley said.

Plenty of fresh vegetables and herbs like cilantro, mint and Thai basil are also central to the cuisine, Bradley added.

Entrees include lemongrass spare ribs served with smashed long beans and heirloom tomatoes for $23, and a whole grilled black bass with green mango and tamarind peanut sauce for $31.

Along with French wine and Asian beers, the restaurant features some cocktails with southeast Asian flavors, like a Thai chili vodka-infused cucumber drink, or bourbon mixed with Asian herbs and spices.

The restaurant, which takes the place of shuttered Duane Park, is also co-owned by chef Marc Forgione, who owns the nearby Michelin-starred Restaurant Marc Forgione at 134 Reade St.

Khe-Yo, which means "green," is now open for dinner and will eventually also serve lunch — including a Vietnamese-style sandwich kiosk outside, called Khe-Yosk.

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