Few have made the journey Greg Hugunin has: from restaurant critic at SF Weekly to chef and owner of his own Hells Kitchen restaurant. Pho 66 was inspired by other journeys the chef made, eating and cooking throughout Southeast Asia, and its name refers both to the six aromatics that flavor his Vietnamese noodle soup (star anise, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, dried chile, and lemongrass) and the six condiments that accompany it (bean sprouts, Thai basil, fresh chile, shallot, cilantro, and lime). In addition to four varieties of phô (from beef five ways to vegetarian), Hugunins menu features lettuce wraps, salads, summer rolls, wok-fried noodles, and a smattering of Thai dishes, plus such thematic cocktails as a Bloody Mary spiked with Thai chile and fish sauce.
Pho 66, 673 Ninth Ave., nr. 46th St.; 212-315-9797
*This article originally appeared in the February 4, 2013 issue of New York Magazine.