Long Provincial's new happy-hour menu will remind you of Tamarind Tree. In a good way.
Although Long Provincial is the latest endeavor from the folks who started the wildly popular Tamarind Tree in the Chinatown International District, the downtown restaurant tries to distinguish itself from its older, more successful sibling — some bamboo décor and a jellyfish tank here, a tweaking of the dinner menu there.
Still, Long’s new happy-hour menu will remind you of Tamarind Tree. In a good way.
Tamarind Tree’s signature rolls and many of its popular Vietnamese appetizers are featured on Long’s new bar menu. The portions are smaller but cheaper (most cost $1.50-$3), low-cost enough that patrons can order a batch of grilled pork rolls, meatballs and satays to qualify as a light dinner for two — for under $20.
Long also will offer happy hour in its soon-to-be-open, heated, outdoor sidewalk seating.
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But I’m always disappointed when an ethnic restaurant doesn’t reward patrons who venture into unfamiliar territory. The grilled quail here was so overcooked it was inedible. The kitchen staff also managed to steam out all the flavors from the escargot-ground pork paste that was wrapped on a lemon-grass stalk.
Those who love deep-fried snacks will be pleased with the addicting mini rice cakes covered with prawn mousse and an open-faced banh mi with prawns covered in a seasoned tempuralike batter. The latter tasted like a fresh, savory doughnut — best bar snack I had here, and a deal at $2.
Long Provincial, downtown at 1901 Second Ave., offers its happy hour daily 4-6 p.m. and also Sundays-Thursdays 10 p.m.-midnight and Fridays and Saturdays 11 p.m.-2 a.m. An extensive bar-food menu has Vietnamese appetizers ranging from $1.50 to $4, and some salad and pho for $4-$7.50. Selected hard liquor, served neat or as cocktails, costs $4 (206-443-6266 or longprovincial.com).
Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or firstname.lastname@example.org