Uncle Boons: A Fun, Friendly Neighborhood Place Serving up Traditional Thai Delights 

SSPNY Heads to Nolita for a Taste of Uncle Boons' Traditional Thai Delights

SSPNY heads over to Nolita to check out Uncle Boon’s authentic thai restaurant Located on 7 Spring Street in NYC for a friendly, cozy, and vintage restaurant that serves up traditional Thai cuisine.

I'm always a bit wary of new, easy-on-the-eyes restaurants in so-called trendy neighborhoods like Nolita. Is it just a money grab, an "all-concept, no-feeling" type of place trying to be the next hot spot for weekend scenesters? Or is there real love in the kitchen, and warmth up front? The very good news for Nolita locals: Uncle Boons, opened in April by Per Se alumns Matt Danzer and Ann Redding, falls firmly into the latter category. This is a convivial, comfortable restaurant, with an amusingly over-the-top design sensibility and some seriously good, traditional-leaning Thai food. 

SSPNY first tries out the Mee Krob : a generously-portioned spicy sweetbread dish in which the offal is perfectly cooked, and where the sawtooth herbs and tamarind sauce added exotica, and the crispy noodles which made the dish great and crunchy. 
 
The subterranean Uncle Boons has a cozy feel to it, with three smallish areas all done up with a million old-school photographs and oddball knickknacks. There's the dim, welcoming bar area right as you climb down the entranceway stairs, where you can get beer, wine, Thai snacks and, now that it's summer so why not, a Singhai Beer Slushie for only seven bucks. There's the front dining room, casually outfitted in brick and wood. And there's the Sanuk Sanuk room in the back, which means "fun" in Thai and definitely lives up to its name. 
 
SSPNY next tries out the Khao Soi Kaa Kai: a borderline-fiery, "northern style golden curry" casserole with egg noodles, meat-falling-off-the-bone chicken legs, pickled mustard greens and coconut milk.
 
The Uncle Boons menu is a little pricier than you're used to in this genre--appetizers and "drinking food" priced in the mid-teens; entrees in the low- to mid-20s--but rest assured, this is skillful, creative cooking, using fresh, interesting ingredients. I tried a couple of dishes the other evening, and will certainly be back for more. My starter, for example, was excellent, a generously-portioned spicy sweetbread dish called Mee Krob in which the offal was cooked perfectly, the sawtooth herbs and tamarind sauce added exotica, and the crispy noodles brought a whole lot of crackle to the party. 
 
SSPNY heads to the back of Uncle Boons, which features the Sanuk Sanuk room that means “fun” in Thai. It is perfect for private parties; outfitted with Thai patterned wood walls, mirrored ceilings and provides views of a lush outdoor garden in the middle of the busy Nolita neighborhood.
 
My main dish at Uncle Boons was just as good, the Khao Soi Kaa Kai, a borderline-fiery, "northern style golden curry" casserole with egg noodles, meat-falling-off-the-bone chicken legs, pickled mustard greens and coconut milk. Great stuff. And the staffers were all friendly and helpful, with no trendy-restaurant attitude in the house. A very pleasant experience all around. Uncle Boons is located on Spring Street between Elizabeth and Bowery, and is open Monday through Thursday from 5:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.; on Friday and Saturday until 12:00 midnight, and on Sunday until 10:00. For more info and the complete Uncle Boons menu, click here. 
 
As you enter Uncle Boon’s, you are immediately greeted with a pub that features a 10-seat bar with views of the rotisserie and charcoal grill. This dimly-lit welcoming area consists of exposed brick walls, which are full of framed prints and photographs illuminated by mismatched chandeliers.

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