Fresh Coconut Juice & Rooster Braised in Red Wine with Mushrooms

I eat at the Hotel Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi not often, but it’s one of my favorite places in all of Hanoi. Even those who poo-poo the sheer idea of the Metropole in a city like Hanoi—a topic in and of itself altogether—can’t deny how majestic the place feels during this time of year. I will come here again soon, most likely next week, because December in Hanoi, at this exact location, is as close to Heaven as I’ll ever likely get.

Chả cá Lã Vọng, Nộm Đủ Đủ, Nem Rán, and Jackie

A dear friend of so long passed through town today. We had a wonderful meal at one of my favorite restaurants in Hanoi, Pineapple, and later a talk over tea at OCHÂO Tea House near West Lake.

Although so much time has gone by since my days at Rice, there are some things, like great friendships, that still remain.