Rice noodle restaurant Little Tong Noodle Shop has been such a hit in the East Village that chef-owner Simone Tong is already adding a second location in Midtown East, just one year after opening the first. Come spring, 235 East 53rd St., between Second and Third avenues, will serve Tong’s Yunnan popular mixian rice noodle bowls.
Because this location is prime for the Midtown East work crowd, hours will start with lunch and takeout first, weekdays from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Eventually dinner will be added to the mix at the 12-seat spot. The menu here will mirror the downtown location, which means bowls such as the little pot mixian with pork broth, minced pork, shiitake, garlic chives, pickled mustard stems, pea shoots, and chili vinaigrette, while also adding new dishes.
Tong, a Wd-50 alum, opened the small Little Tong in March 2017, garnering two stars from the Times and consistent crowds. It’s not the only popular East Village restaurant trying to capitalize on the booming uptown lunch market — nearby MáLà Project also expanded to Midtown East this year.