Some of our favorite Brooklyn restaurateurs – Kerry Diamond and Chef Rob Newton (of Seersucker and Smith Canteen) – just opened a brand new spot, Nightingale 9. A Vietnamese restaurant that’s a passion project from Newton, Nightingale 9 proves there are really no boundaries when it comes to this chef. We chatted with him about the new venture, and partook in a cooking session where we experimented with herbs and sampled dishes like his amazing Hudson Valley Beef. See below for all the deliciousness!
The best thing about Vietnamese cuisine…
The focus on fresh herbs, seasonality, and beautiful clean flavors.
Something about Vietnamese cuisine that might surprise us…
It’s so similar to Southern food! They love their pork, seafood, pickles, and fresh produce.
Why are herbs so important to the dishes at Nightingale 9?
Herbs are so integral to classic Vietnamese cuisine. I can’t think of one Vietnamese dish that doesn’t have herbs throughout it. Therefore, I wanted them to be a big part of what we do here.
How (if at all) do you incorporate your Southern roots into the cooking at Nightingale 9?
Definitely the utilization of the whole pig and reliance on fresh fish. We also use soy sauce from Kentucky, benne seeds (sesame seeds) from South Carolina, and lots of greens in both pickled and fresh form.
The dishes we have to order…
Caramel Pork, Beef Pho and the Fried Rice
If you could have any five guests (living or dead) visit the restaurant for the opening, who would they be?
Edna Lewis, Dalai Lama, Charlie Rose, Johnny Cash and my girlfriend Kerry Diamond
*Photographed by Danielle Kosann at Nightingale 9