19 Ngô Văn Sở, Trần Hưng Đạo, Hoàn Kiếm, Hà Nội, Vietnam
Photo by Doug Schneider/age fotostock
La VerticaleLa Verticale, run by Didier Corlou, a Frenchman who is a well-known figure in the local dining scene, is a feast for the senses. Corlou creates what he describes as contemporary-Indochinese cuisine—but which could also be described as Vietnamese-accented French fare. Presentation is a key part of the experience here: Jars of spices displayed on high wooden shelves give the space the feeling of an old apothecary, while the dark-leather banquettes and framed mirrors on the walls provide a sophisticated touch. Dishes are artfully plated—sometimes on china, sometimes on slate—showcasing the food to wonderful effect. Menus are seasonal, but typically include a section labeled "Ha Long to Nha Trang" that makes the most of the country's marine bounty, with ingredients like red tuna, lobster, and mackerel.