If the local ramen boom ever comes off the boil, pho is simmering in the background, ready to step up and claim Asian noodle-soup primacy. In the last few months, SUP Vietnamese Pho & Grill has opened two locations, in Stony Brook and Massapequa.
Chef Tiger Le, formerly of Pho Vietnamese on the Lower East Side, headed out to Long Island in June 2020 when the pandemic was taking more of a toll on Manhattan restaurants. He hooked up with a restaurant group that had just opened the Japanese ramen shop eShin Noodle Bar in Stony Brook and, in August, SUP opened up in the same shopping center on North Country Road.
Christina Vo, a spokesperson for the group said that, as with chef Kai Wang at eShin, "we wanted to help chef Le realize his vision." Stony Brook, she said, offered "a diverse population familiar with the bold flavors of Vietnamese cuisine."
"Sup" means soup in Vietnamese and Le is proud of his broth, which simmers all day. Most of the soups are based on beef broth and feature various combinations of beef eye round, brisket, short ribs, meatballs, tripe and bone marrow. There are also chicken and vegetarian broths, with complementary additions. Add delicate rice noodles to soup and you have pho, which is traditionally served with a side dish of herbs and vegetables for maximum customization. Phos range from $12 to $15 (plus more for add-ons).
SUP’s grill menu features shiitake mushrooms; steak; pork and lamb chops; and chicken and tiger shrimp (all marinated, $6 to 26). The starters ($8 to $12) range from Vietnamese summer rolls (with big, tender tiger shrimp) and fried spring rolls, to Viet wings and braised pork ribs.
Stony Brook’s is the larger restaurant, elegant and serene, with warm wood and wainscotting in cool tones of dusty teal and pale moss. Massapequa is smaller, but boasts bar seating with a window into the kitchen.
For all you pho fans (or pho curious) out there, the last two years have seen pho shops open in New Hyde Park (Ha Long Bay), Levittown (Pho 34) and Smithtown (Pho Fans). They join such legacy restaurants as Rolling Spring Roll in Farmingdale and Syosset, and Saigon Casa in Port Jefferson Station.
SUP Vietnamese Pho & Grill is at 1113 North Country Rd., Stony Brook 631-675-6777 and 998 Carmans Rd., Massapequa, 516-804-8900; supvietnamese.com.