This luxe restaurant has been wowing midtown diners since the ’70s. Whether you prefer Cantonese, Shanghai or Szechuan food, you’ll find it done in style. The menu offers no fewer than five duck entrées and a slew of nontraditional items, such as Lily in the Woods (Chinese cabbage hearts simmered in broth and served with black wood mushrooms). Waiters theatrically assemble your table’s centerpiece—vegetables skillfully carved into animal shapes.
The menagerie heralds the arrival of the fancy food: moist shredded duck or Neptune’s Net, a potato nest bursting with scallops, shrimp, lobster and sea bass. The experience doesn’t come cheap, but for top-notch regional cuisine served graciously beside a taro dove, there is no other choice.
One can manage without eating flesh,
but one cannot manage without the bamboo.
Where China borders Mongolia in the colder north, the food reflects the terrain—it’s rustic and comforting, loaded with rich lamb and focused more on wheat-flour noodles and buns than the rice ubiquitous elsewhere. Thanks to a change in immigration patterns, Flushing has seen an increase in Northern Chinese restaurants like the seven-year-old Fu Run, whose owners are from Dongbei (what was once known as Manchuria). They call their justly celebrated dish the “Muslim lamb chop,” but it’s more like a half rack of ribs: A platter of bone-in, fatty meat is braised, then battered and deep-fried, the whole juicy slab blanketed with cumin seeds, chili powder and flakes, and black and white sesame seeds.
Try it with a wonderfully greasy beef-stuffed pancake called a bing, and cold saladesque dishes like the bright, fresh “tiger vegetable” (shredded scallions, cilantro, chilies and tiny shrimp) or liang pi noodles, transparent mung-bean noodles listed as “green-bean sheet jelly” and tossed with chili oil, peanuts and crushed cucumbers.