Parallel Seventeen is an upscale Asian bistro in the lively uptown neighborhood. Mary Nguyen, chef/owner, creates French-influenced northern Vietnamese dishes. Parallel 17 is conveniently located in uptown at 17th avenue and Franklin. It is a small and cozy yet classy restaurant. The patio looks like a great spot on a nice fall day or summer evening.
We started off with some ginger coconut encrusted calamari and steamed pork buns. The calamari was tossed with jalapeños, watercress, pears, sweet chili sauce and cilantro coulis. The sweet chili sauce was very tasty but I would have liked more of it or for it to be spread across the calamari more evenly. Also, I loved the bites of ginger but I wanted more of that too! I love ginger :)
The steamed pork buns were seared pork belly inside pillow-y, spongy buns with a side of Vietnamese “kimchee.” I really enjoyed the texture of these buns but it did make them a bit more filling as an appetizer. The pork belly and Vietnamese “kimchee” were really good though.
The Uptown and Spicy Hanoi were the drinks of choice. The Uptown was house infused chamomile whisky and sweet vermouth, served with a maraschino cherry. The spicy hanoi was a very impressive drink with infused jalapeno tequila, agave nectar, fresh lime and mango juice. The jalapeno tequila added a large kick to the drink. Caution had to be taken when drinking because it could cause a little burn on the back of your throat if not drunk properly. We decided that you had to allow it to sit in your mouth for a second before swallowing but I loved this cocktail!
We also tried some jasmine sake because I thought it sounded very intriguing. It was very smooth and easy to drink. For entrees, we chose the goat agnollotti and tamarind glazed lamb shank (GF). The tamarind glazed lamb shank was served with a parsnip and pea parfait, mustard greens and pineapple chutney. This meal was very good but we could not stop raving about the goat agnolotti.
The goat agnolotti was served with chrysanthemum greens, ricotta salata, tomato demi glace, and lemon and basil oil. This meal was part of the 8-course meal featured on Bizarre Foods America. I would not say it is quite bizarre but it is ridiculously good! It is a seasonal dish so make sure you get in to try it.
They have quite a few gluten-free (GF) and vegan options available from crispy spring rolls to pan seared scallops with creamy polenta and yellow curry. There is also a pho dish on the menu but I did not get to try this. The service was great- the waitress did not know we were invited in as guests but she served us well and explained each dish with knowledge and passion.
We wrapped things up with a delicious bowl of coconut and chocolate bread pudding. It was amazing and even though I was completely full, I managed to finish it all :D
Music For Your Ears:
~Down in the Valley by the Head and the Heart
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