Nightingale 9

345 Smith St.
Brooklyn, NY 11231
Critics' Pick


  • Tue-Sun 11am-3pm, 6pm-10pm
  • $$
  • Dinner
  • Full bar
  • Street Parking
  • Reservations Accepted
Kerry Diamond and Robert Newton of Seersucker and Smith Canteen have built out their Carroll Gardens' empire with the addition of a third restaurant. Nightingale 9 is a small, bustling Vietnamese street-food joint where regional American ingredients find their way into Vietnamese-style salads, hot noodle soups, and meaty bowls of rice noodles. Bun cha ($13)--the everyday Vietnamese dish of cold vermicelli with grilled pork patties and belly meat--is made with Berkshire pork and peanuts from Aunt Ruby's in North Carolina, with a small heap of roughly textured rice noodles that turn out to be far more gratifying than they first appear. You'll be instructed to wrap that tiny fried quail ($15) from South Carolina in a sheet of lettuce with mint leaves, then squeeze over half a lime. Flavors outweigh the drab surroundings by leaps and bounds (the decor could be described as prison-chic), so enjoy the tantalizing greens from fresh herbs like mint, basil, chickweed, rather than the grey on the walls. For dessert, there are a series of popsicles on wooden sticks, served in practical stainless-steel containers. Go for the palm-sugar pop ($5) which has a complex caramel flavor and arrives covered in a crunchy crumble of benne seeds and peanut brittle. It's so tasty it'll make you wish that Nightingale 9 was open during the day so you could stop in for a pop, but for now, it's dinner only. --Tejal Rao

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