Nightingale 9, Rob Newton's new effort at Vietnamese cooking in Carroll Gardens, seems poised to bridge all sorts of gaps, such as the false one between traditional Asian cooking versus modern and the more real one between casual eating and studied cuisine. Though his food veers towards traditional Vietnamese forms, there's something about his cooking that reminds me of Tien Ho's tenure at the then-Vietnamese-esque (and damn good) Ma Peche. It's thoughtful, precise, and pretty original.
As a casual neighborhood with greater ambitions, the restaurant doesn't fail. But it doesn't fully succeed either.