Last date I was here: 06/17/2011
Restaurant: Ba Bay (http://www.babaydc.com/)
Location: Capitol Hill
Total Rating: 4.5
Food: 5, Price: 4, Service: 4, Ambience: 3, Accessibility: 5
Summary: Ba Bay is the fairly new Vietnamese restaurant to open up along Pennsylvania Avenue SE in Capitol Hill. With the prime location, Ba Bay replaces the former Locanda restaurant and offers diners a modern taste of Vietnamese cuisine. Ba Bay means "Madame Seven" after the owner's grandmother's nickname and features many of her recipes with a few contemporary twists. Closest Metro is Eastern Market.
After reading a few reviews that slammed Ba Bay for being more fusion than Asian, I admit I went in with low expectations. The decor is very simple with a few wooden elements that slightly nod to Vietnamese minimalistic design. We sat at a table by the front window and perused the short Spring menu that featured many items with pork or seafood, and had descriptions that again sounded more fusion than traditional. But as Keith keenly pointed out, Vietnamese cuisine in general has always been fusion with its heavy French influences. Our "hipster" server was super friendly and took our menu right away. The Riesling wine I had ordered was very refreshing on this muggy summer evening. Keith ordered one of their specialty cocktails and it was good - but not great. The food arrived piping hot and was just spectacular. The flavors were layered and full of depth with the European techniques prominent in the sauces and the Asian influence with the fresh ingredients. Overall, I was very pleased with my meal at Ba Bay and had we not made other dessert plans, I would have liked to have tried one of the desserts that caught my eye. With the reasonable prices and different flavors, I plan to comeback to Ba Bay again soon.
What I ate:
Beer Braised Pork & Clams
with brussel sprouts and rice cakes
♥Egg Noodles with Rock Shrimp♥
in a lemongrass, coconut, and green peppercorn sauce
Plus Keith ate: