Ngon Vietnamese Bistro (pronounced “Nong”) is charming and bright, with lacy curtains and blonde hardwood floors. Offering contemporary and fusion Vietnamese cuisine, Ngon Vietnamese Bistro uses locally-produced ingredients wherever possible, including Thousand Hills Cattle Company’s grass-fed beef, Singer House Farms rabbit, and Fischer Farms pork. They source seafood from Coastal Seafoods and (in season) produce from St. Paul Farmers’ Market vendors. Dinner entrees include contemporary takes on classic Vietnamese dishes from cơm tấm broken rice dishes to phở rice noodle soups, as well as fusion dishes, such as elk medallions or aniseed and fennel encrusted pheasant breast.
Ngon Vietnamese Bistro is more polished than the other Vietnamese restaurants along University Avenue, such as Saigon, or along Eat Street in Minneapolis, such as Pho Tau Bay, and emphasizes local sourcing and creating contemporary inspirations of classic dishes, over authenticity.
BEST BET: The duck confit appetizer, featuring Wild Acres duck breast with coconut curry sauce is always outstanding, and the phở tái ribeye, with tender slices of rare ribeye steak in a flavorful, fragrant broth is a lovely, though unique, rendition of the classic dish. Save room for dessert, especially the ginger crème brulee or either the vanilla or chocolate mung bean cheesecake.
Vietnamese Bistro in Frogtown, St. Paul
799 University Ave
St. Paul, MN 55104
OWNER/CHEF: Hai Trong and Jessica Ainsworth-Trong
Happy hour Mon-Fri 3-6pm and Sat-Sun 11am-5pm
BAR: Many beers on tap; exclusively Minnesotan. Organic and sustainable wine by the glass and bottle.
RESERVATIONS/RECOMMENDED?: Yes and Yes for Weekend dinner.
VEGETARIAN/VEGAN: Yes/No, but they do have vegan wines available
ENTREE RANGE: Lunch ($8-11); Dinner ($8-20)