Cyclo is a small Vietnamese restaurant in the East Village. It has been around for about 7/8 years. I remember when Cyclo opened. The reviews were great. At that point, the East Village was starting to see a collection of good new restaurants enter the area. We were living in the suburbs at that point. Fred and I came to NYC for a four day holiday, sans kids. A very memorable vacation. One of the meals we had was at Cyclo. We have been back a variety of times over the years.
Last night we went again. They have kept the place up which is always a plus. The food is really good.
The pad thai was one of the best I have ever had. Squeeze a little lime over the noodles and the flavor intensifies. Everything is served on simple white plates in different shapes. We started with chicken dumplings. Shredded chicken and spices rolled into small hand made dumplings with sauce on the side. We also shared a platter of egg rolls and jicama rolls with lettuce and shrimp. I'm not a big fan of the jicama rolls but Fred loves them.
We split up the main courses. We had a special with large shrimp, string beans and eggplants in a spicy red curry sauce. We asked for it not too spicy. What makes the food good is that each item in the dish takes on its own taste but put together creates a different palette. That is the key here. Fresh food that is combined simply. I hate it when the food all starts to taste the same, not in this case. They served a spicy tamarind sauce on the side which was excellent for changing the flavor of the dish and dipping or pouring over rice. We also had a spicy crispy tamarind duck with eggplant. Really really good. They served the breast sliced with the thighs and legs in the middle. We also got an order of pad yew. Thick noodles with a dark soy sauce and shredded chicken. Always a favorite.
As for drinks, they are bit lacking. It is either hot sake, beer or a few different wines. They do have a few house special drinks but thats it.
If it wasn't for the fact that it was late, we probably would have ordered more. I will most definitely return again as we have continued to as long as Cyclo continues to be open. If they have kept it going this well over the past 8 years, my guess is that they could be in for the long haul.