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Chef James Wierzelewski has cooked in exotic locations for 20-some years, gathering gastronomic ideas from places the way tourists collect T-shirts. The menu at Vix, however, is no hodgepodge homage to his travels but rather a short, sensible compilation of mostly Mediterranean and Asian dishes, with a few tips of the toque toward Central and South America. The arrival of a basket brimming with fresh-from-the-tandoor-oven naan bread is the first sign Vix is paying attention to details. A ceviche of tequila-and-lime-soaked saltwater prawns exudes pristine quality, while grape-leaf-encased sausages of minced Moroccan-spiced Merguez lamb let you know this chef isn't afraid to heat things up. Full flavors and sharp contrasts are displayed in entrées such as Basque-style loup de mer, a firm-fleshed white fish fillet seared and dressed with chorizo-fortified tomato bouillon; fresh, meaty artichoke hearts; and a sweet red pimiento polenta. Risotto was also exemplary. No such luster brightened a dull "chow mein" of Hong Kong barbecued duck and lobster, but we didn't say Vix was perfect.
There is no charge for walking through the elegant lobby of the Hotel Victor on your way to Vix. A tank of jellyfish glowing in blue light is a free attraction too, as is the shiny open kitchen's nightly revue of culinary theatrics. A basket of warm nan bread freshly baked in a tandoori is likewise complimentary, but just about everything else chef James Wierzelewsi and his kitchen crew prepare comes at a lofty cost. Everything on the menu sounds so good it is tough to choose. A seafood hot... More »
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