Nov. 16, 2015 By Jackie Strawbridge
A new Vietnamese restaurant that aims to put its own twist on traditional dishes will open on Broadway this winter.
District Mot, located at 37-15 Broadway, will serve traditional and updated Vietnamese dishes in a space that pays homage to the foods and atmosphere of Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City), owner Michael Lien said.
Though the menu is still being crafted, Lien said customers can expect pho, summer rolls and steak dishes, with an emphasis on fresh or organic ingredients. The menu will incorporate updated cooking techniques and presentations into some of the dishes that Lien learned working at his family’s Vietnamese restaurants and markets.
“Our philosophy [is] we want to express the Vietnamese cooking in a different way, in terms of more modern, obviously more with fresher ingredients,” he said. “We’re trying to create something to match the place where it can be exciting but also traditional at the same time.”
The space, which can seat around 50 people, will include a bar up front, a street-themed space with graffiti art, street signs and décor to recall Vietnamese street markets, as well as long, wood slab tables and couches to accommodate bigger parties.
Lien, who is from Fresh Meadows, said he wanted to open the restaurant in Astoria due to the wide variety of cuisines already available here.
“Astoria is a place that you could introduce good food,” he said. “I feel like that’s where all the good food is, where the concentration of young chefs are trying to build their careers from.”
District Mot is slated to open “around Christmas,” Lien said.