Celebrity chef Hong Thaimee opens home-style Thai restaurant in West Village
After a successful campaign as a pandemic pop-up earlier this year, celebrity chef Hong Thaimee’s house-style Thai restaurant Thaimee Love is moving to a permanent location in Greenwich Village at 116 West Houston Street near Sullivan. Street, October 1.
The cozy 30-seat restaurant is an extension of the popular range of intimate Thai fare that Thaimee offered in his beloved pop-up, including miam pooh or crab salad; crispy Chiang Mai fries for everyone; and roti ghang kiaw wan ghae, a tender lamb shank slowly braised in green curry and served with Thai eggplant, long peppers and Thai basil. “I used the pop-up to test the wholesale market,” explains the chef. “If I want to push the boundaries of Thai cuisine, would I be accepted? Turns out I won more friends.
For the permanent shop, Thaimee has divided the menu into entrees, soups, nahm prik or chili relish, and more hearty main courses. The menu was designed to be approached in a family style, says Thaimee, with one dish chosen from each category to be shared among dining groups. There’s also a $ 180 tasting menu for two, which will include both main menu items and unlisted specialties.
Through her premium menu, where most main dishes – including a red curry with duck and lychee, and a herbal Thai catfish – sell for between $ 25 and $ 40 apiece, she aims to show to customers that Thai cuisine deserves a double-digit price. Key words. “I have all the courage to do it because I want to give the best to my people,” Thaimee said. “This is the way I would eat in my Thai family home.”
Thaimee Love marks the chef’s first return to large-scale catering operations since the closure of his beloved East Village haunt, Ngam, which was later renamed Thaimee Table. The restaurant has been a resounding success over its seven year history, garnering critical acclaim from the New Yorker and the New York Times, among other outlets, but, behind the scenes, “I put my heart and soul into it and lost who I was,” says Thaimee. Now the chef brings more experience and a better understanding of the industry into his next act. “[Thaimee Love] is just an adult version of a girl who has a dream, ”she says. “And she did it.”
In addition to Thaimee Love, Thaimee also runs the delivery and take-out noodle and fried rice store Pad Thaimee in the same kitchen. In November, the chef plans to add an additional concept to the Greenwich Village space: Thaimee Blossom, a vegan meal subscription service.
Thaimee Love is open Wednesday through Sunday, 5 pm to 10:30 pm Reservations can be made by contacting 347-325-2557; or via Resy from October 6.