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Thursday, 22 May 2014 15:50

A Good Night Makes A Good Morning Better!

Asian Inspired Noodle Café To Debut Friday Evening


BALLSTON SPA – A new culinary star will appear on the horizon tonight in the Carousel Plaza in Ballston Spa. 


The combined talents and effort of Chef Linh Sullins and Owner Nancy Holzman will be on display at the Good Night Noodle Café – which features a Southeast Asian menu that combines traditional recipes from Vietnam, Cambodian and Thailand dressed up with modern brightness and flair. 


A notable point is that Good Night Noodle will be housed in the same restaurant that Ms. Holzman has already made popular inroads—The Good Morning Café at 2100 Doubleday Avenue. 


The restaurant intends to transition from ‘Good Morning’ to ‘Good Night’ every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening at 5 p.m., which will certainly maximize the use of the restaurant space, but definitely present logistical challenges because of the different ingredients, preparation and even utensils required for both menus. But through careful formulation and planning, both Chef Linh and Nancy are energetically confident that they have arrived at a formula to delight customers – at any time you visit.


For though the menus are as different as night and day (sorry, couldn’t resist that one!) it says here that a common formula will be the key – a commitment on the part of both restaurants to fresh, organic sustainable and delicious ingredients – with vegetarian and gluten-free options—that will make you want to put Good Night Noodle on your short list of “try soon” restaurants. 


That commitment extends to working with local organic farms (such as Little Sparrow in Ballston Spa) to grow the exact Thai Basil that is required to make Chef Linh’s pho (a Vietnamese noodle soup consisting of broth and linguine-shaped rice noodles called bánh phở) sing with zing! 


Speaking of pho, it is one of the menu staples that she prepared for us on a recent visit – available in beef, chicken and vegan options, the common element is the balance derived from the addition of key herbs and ingredients that are added to the noodle broth: Lime for zest, Red Boat Fish Sauce for salty, vegan hoisin for sweet, chili’s (optional, but do it) for bite, bean sprouts and (yes, yes!) crispy shallots for crunch. 


The bánh mi sandwich showcases the French influence on Vietnamese cuisine right up front as it is served on a fresh-baked toasty baguette. Pickled vegetables (bright carrots, dikon, cucumbers and bean sprouts) are the core in flavor core in either the meat/chicken or veggie options, but what seals the deal is a touch of mint, crushed cashews (a substitute for those with peanut allergies) and shallot-infused oil dressing. 


Spring rolls come in shrimp and veggie versions, enhanced by homemade Nuoc Cham (a traditional fish sauce customized by Chef Linh to “stimulate all 5 senses’) and hoisin garlic dipping sauces.  


For the first two-week “soft opening” phase, a smaller menu (which includes all of the above, plus more) is planned. After June 5, a larger summer menu will be revealed; at that time, they also plan to offer call-in/take out options and take reservations. 



The good news is that the opening menu’s prices range from only $7-12. That makes it worth cooling your jets a bit if you have to wait for a table: On two levels, a small price to pay for a Good Night, indeed.


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