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Jun 12, 2008 04:51 AM

Anyone been to Lantern Thai yet?

I read somewhere that a Manhattan branch of this Brooklyn restaurant was opening up, and voila: just walked by it last night on 2nd Ave (around 19th/20th). Looked festive, but I can't find much information about the place--any reviews would be helpful, thanks!

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  1. just ate there the other night and have ordered in a few times. it's between 19th and 18th. the golden chive pancake is delicious but the summer rolls are a little dry. the pad thai is very good but the standouts are the tamarind duck and the half chicken with papaya salad. both are super spicy and great. for now it's byob (didn't realize that until we sat down and ordered) but there is a wine shop about a block north between 19th and 20th. service is ok but food comes out real rushed from the kitchen.

    1. We had a late supper at Lantern a couple of weeks ago. We didn't sample much, but based on what we did, the quality of the food is far superior to Pongsri, the Thai restaurant which formerly occupied this space.

      We had spring rolls and chicken satay to start. The rolls were perfectly deep-fried, crispy with not a hint of greasiness. They arrived standing up in a cup-like vessel with the dipping sauce at the bottom. The chicken was expertly grilled so that it retained its juiciness. It came with the usual, tasty peanut sauce.

      We shared the roasted duck with red curry-pineapple, basil, bamboo shoots, tomato, diced pineapple. It was very attractively plated and tasted as good as it looked. All the components worked very well together. On the menu, there is a little pepper sign next to the listing, indicating a hot dish; however, while it wasn't bland, it wasn't particularly hot either. The portion wasn't very large, but since we weren't extremely hungry (we'd had a major lunch), it was sufficient for the two of us. The dish did not come with rice, so we requested some.

      Service was fine, but the hour was late and only two other tables were occupied, so there's no way to know how it would have been if they had been busy.

      The owners have completely refurbished the interior with strikingly attractive modern decor. Again, because of the sparse patronage at that hour, there's no way to tell what the noise level is like when the space is fully occupied.

      Based on this one experience, I think Lantern is a very good addition to the neighborhood.