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Hot List 2008

Verticale, Hanoi

Address: 19 Ngo Van So Street

Tel: 84-4-944-6317

After years of running the kitchens at Hanoi's grande dame, the Sofitel Metropole, French-born Didier Corlou, together with his Vietnamese wife, Mai, have turned a 1930s villa into a colonial-era Indochine fantasy. At the entry is an apothecary-style spice shop; upstairs is a narrow dining room lined with local artwork as well as a lively rooftop bar with stunning views. Corlou mixes French ingredients with Vietnamese flavors (foie gras ravioli with apple compote and a delicate lotus tea sauce) and sources local seafood for dishes like red tuna with passion fruit and lemongrass and lobster with Tahitian vanilla-infused hearts of palm. He uses his mother's chocolate cake recipe, and it's a winner—a warm, gooey confection made with Ecuadoran Valrhona (entrées, $15–$26).

Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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