The West Village has been impressing us here at Manhattan Digest lately with its variety of cuisines and bright and bold spaces that makes this area of the city one of our favorite to eat in. Pinto Garden, located on West 10th Street only a couple of blocks away from the 1-2-3 line, is a great example of Thai food at its best, all in a breathtaking area that became one of the highlights for us here this month. With Thai Restaurant Week still in full swing until this Saturday, I stopped by to try their exclusive menu which was spicy, tasty and delicious, all wrapped in one.
The Pinto brand began in 2006 with Bangkok native Chef Teerawong “Yo” Nanthavatsiri, who cut his teeth in the NY restaurant business with Spice Thai restaurants before opening the original Pinto restaurant on Christopher Street in Manhattan’s West Village. Drawing flavors from the various regions of Thailand, Chef Yo strived to create a culinary experience that would proudly represent the variety of flavors in his home country. Over the past decade, the Pinto name has developed a reputation for bold and artful Thai cuisine. They also recently opened up a sister restaurant in Brooklyn, if the West Village is too much of a trek.
What I love about Pinto Garden is that when you walk in, it reads as your average restaurant, however when you go into the back, you are welcomed into this beautiful backyard garden of sorts, with glass ceilings that showcase how beautiful the weather can be outside (not on my night, as it was pouring. ☹). This is such a special space to enjoy either an intimate dinner for two or have a nice party, which I saw when a family and friends sitting next to me were having a baby shower celebration.
Onto the food. Chef Yo treated me to three amazing items, an appetizer-main course-dessert type, all with such incredible depth of flavor and more that left me feeling full and my palate happy. The first course was their KO RAE Chicken Wings, which are fried marinated chicken wings with Southern Thai herb sauce. If you don’t like spice, then these aren’t for you. However if you do like spice, welcome aboard because the herb sauce sits plentifully throughout each wing and makes it a great starter course.
Main course is clams 101 with his Manila Clam, which was a bunch of fresh sautéed manila clams with garlic, Thai chili jam and basil. Absolutely scrumptious, especially the broth underneath the clams which was fun to add onto the side of jasmine rice that came with the order. The spice level on this was a bit lower than the wings, but still packed an incredible amount of punch that left my plate completely empty.
Finally, for dessert, we finished off with their Thai Coconut Pudding, which had a firmer texture than most puddings and was topped with black and blueberries. The texture was different from what I usually have, but it had a great cool down effect as the two options I had before that were very spice-intensified. Overall, this was a great meal that you should check out before Thai Restaurant Week ends this Saturday.
For more information on Pinto Garden, check out their official site.