Doi Moi Lives Up To The Hype

Crispy spring rolls with spicy dipping sauce

Crispy spring rolls with spicy dipping sauce

No one is more surprised than I am that I enjoyed Doi Moi. As in thoroughly. As in I would go back. Well, on a Sunday or long weekend when it’s mostly a neighborhood crowd, probably not on a packed Thursday or Friday evening when the bridge and tunnel crew pack in for an “experience.”

So, I’m generally not a fan of this family of restaurants. I find Proof overpriced – have you looked at their wine list? I find both Proof and Estadio simultaneously obnoxious and obsequious. So I had resisted going to Doi Moi.

Moreover, in my old age, I don’t like going to restaurants that don’t take reservations, particularly if the wait is going to be an hour or even two (!)

So when we happened on Doi Moi this weekend after we bailed on our first choice (an unexpected extended Valentine’s Day menu – bleh), I had low expectations. Instead, Doi Moi was fun and enjoyable. The food was delicious, the drink options were plentiful and reasonably priced, the service was pleasant, albeit a bit casual (read: we drink wine quicker than you’re pouring it). And because we went on Sunday night of a long weekend, the wait was a short 20 minutes, which we passed at the bar, G drinking a Blue Dog, Green Collar; me a glass of French cabernet franc.

For dinner, we sat at the bar at the kitchen, where we watched the staff turn out delicious looking salads, stir-fried vegetables and fried rice dishes.

Egg and crispy noodles with chicken in a spicy coconut curry

Egg and crispy noodles with chicken in a spicy coconut curry

I had just finished reading a novel where the main characters are all from Alsace, so we decided to have either an Alsatian riesling or an Alsatian pinot blanc. Looking over our choices – fried spicy salt and pepper calamari, spring rolls, curry chicken and noodles, whole fish in a spicy sauce – our server recommended the riesling, which was great with the food. My only (minor) complaint was that the wine wasn’t as chilled as I generally like my whites. And with a wine like riesling, I think it really needs to be cold, otherwise the flavors can be overwhelming. Still, nothing that can’t be fixed by a bucket of ice.

So overall, a thumbs up. Would definitely go with foodie friends. We’ll just need to manage the timing to avoid crowds.

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