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Restaurants & Bars 4

2 good 2 be true

caren r. | Mar 20, 2004 01:55 PM

I was starting to get a little bored with the eats in the area of Forest Hills/Rego Park when I discovered two new finds nearby.
I finally tried La Vigna two weeks ago. I was surprised that I was able to get a table on a Saturday night but it was before seven. By around 7:30 the place was packed. We enjoyed the fried/calamari shrimp appetizer. The seafood was on a nicely dressed salad of baby greens. It was a nice change for the usual. I had the potato crusted red snapper. The only criticism I would have that the potato was not thoroughly cooked. It tasted much better reheated the next day (it was a very large portion). Hubby finished every drop of his seafood risotto, it was so good. We shared an excellent fruit tart for dessert.
I think La Vigna is a wonderful addition to the neighborhood and hope to be a regular.

Looks like we may have a winner in Ban Yai, on Queens Blvd., where Bann Thai was until recently. I never tried Bann Thai. I was a little nervous about trying Bann Thai when it was open because it was always empty. I am not really sure if it makes a difference, but I always wonder how fresh the food can be if there isn't much turnover. Each time I have walked by Ban Yai there have been customers, and it has only been opened about a week. We went for lunch today. The owner, Don, talked with us a bit. He has worked in the Thai restaurant in Elmhurst next to Joe's Shanghai (I forgot the name). The waiter told us that the owner's family has been cooking for years at street fairs. I would like to hear from other chowhounders about the authenticity of this food after reading other posts about Queens Thai restaurants. I cannot make any claims in that regard but everything was delicious. When each dish came out of the kitchen the aroma filled the small dining room. Loved all we had: the sauteed ginger chicken, lard nar, and green papaya salad. Don comped dessert, the banana rama which was a nice ending to a good meal.
I hope this place succeeds. This location has had a lousy track record. I loved the Dumpling house when it had its first owners and have missed having a really good place in that location.

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