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Phõ Viet
1663 Amherst. Beaudry or Berri-UQAM métro.

RESERVATIONS: 522-4116. HOURS: I I a.m.—3 p.m. for lunch, Mon.—Fri. 5 p.m.—9 p.m., Mon.—Sat. Closed Sun. NO-SMOKING SECTION: Yes, small. WHEELCHAIR ACCESS: Yes. PRICES—TABLE D’HÔTE: $8.50—$12.50. CREDIT CARDS: No.
Because Phõ Viet is on the edge of the Village, it attracts a massive lunch-time CBC/art crowd, all eager to get their fix of Phõ Viet's speciality, soupe tonkinoise. While we agree that the soup is amongst Montreal's perfumed best (the broth is obviously homemade, from bones that simmer all day), we think that the evening is the time to experience the full menu, when the Village has come alive, and the "stars and moon," wedgewood blue/mustard theme of the restaurant conveys a warm sense of contentment.

Boy, is the food good at Phõ Viet! The family used to own a famous Hanoi fish restaurant, and they still prepare the poisson grille à la tonkinoise in the traditional way, which involves lots of effort: first marinating the fish with saffron and other spices, then grilling, dicing and lightly saut6ing the fish before serving (consider calling ahead, since it takes over twenty-five minutes to prepare). Try also the nouilles croustillantes maison with its slices of green Vietnamese radishes and bok choy, the marinated boeuf grillé, and the poulet au gingembre.

Whether because of the owner's early education at the Academie française in Vietnam, or because of subsequent trips to France, Phõ Viet's food shows a European influence (sorbets, crème renversée, café noir glace, café au lait, etc.). This, along with the emphasis on freshness, traditional ingredients, authentic recipes straight from Grandma's kitchen, and the relative ease with which their cuisine pairs with wine, makes Phõ Viet currently THE warmest, tastiest Vietnamese BYOB experience in Montreal.

Do try Phõ Viet soon, before it gets too well known: the owner has assured us that she is committed to remaining a small, quality resto. She will not expand or franchise, so very soon it's going to be as hard to get a seat at night as it is now at noon!

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