New Green Bo or Sweet N Tart
Pathetically, I have never eaten a Chinese meal in Chinatown (Gasp!). I will be changing that on Saturday, but I'm going for lunch, not dinner. I have heard good things about New Green Bo and Sweet N Tart. Do both serve lunch? Does anyone have recommendations for either?
re: Miguel E. Gierbolini
New Green Bo is at 66 Bayard Street between Elizabeth and Mott, about in the middle of the block, on the north (uptown) side of the street.
Sweet N Tart has two locations in Chinatown, one at 20 Mott and the other at 76 Mott (near Canal). The one that I posted about is the one at 20 Mott, which has a lot more elbow room than the one at 76 Mott.
All three are short walks from each other.
Well, you picked a couple of good restaurants to choose between. They are quite different in so many ways that it might be a slight disservice to recommend one over the other. By that I mean that you really need to experience both of them, perhaps more than once, to arrive at your own conclusions.
That said, my recommendation runs along the same lines as Lynn's, with one other thing to think about. Sweet N Tart has three menus (as I recall), with one devoted to sweet soups and drinks, something that you won't find everyday in a Chinese restaurant. I can tell you from personal experience and from what others have said to me that these sweet offerings are really quite delicious and refreshing.
But for great Shanghai, ya can't beat New Green Bo (or, if you can, I don't know about it). I like their soup dumplings and their crispy eel, among other offerings.
I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts after your lunch.
re: George Lynch
I went to New Green Bo last night after reading rave reviews time and again on these boards. Great stuff.
Although ordering the Yellow Fish in dried Seaweed didn't de-gringo-ize us in the eyes of our server (as promised), it was still outstanding. Didn't expect it to be like fishsticks -- what a treat. Favorite dish was the crispy eel. Didn't expect that to look like it did either (I had no idea what to expect, frankly). Man this was good. Sticky, crunchy, bursting with flavor, matched perfectly with the ginger it was served with. Preserved Duck? Eh. This was good, but I would have prefered to have saved my appetite for other things. Pork and crab buns were quite good. Pork and leek dumplings seemed fairly ordinary. Finally, we asked our server to recommend us an interesting noodle dish. She gave us the Shanghai noodles -- while these were on a higher plane (more subtley flavored, not offensively salty) than those you would find at a bad Chinese restaurant, they were still plain and in a gloppy brown sauce. Maybe that's the nature of the dish? But all in all, I thought the place was great. I'll be back. Maybe some other people could recommend more gems for next time? After all, just eating several plates of crispy eel would probably have some negative reprocussions.
Weaving in and out of Chinatown's narrow ,crowded lanes, while trying to hone in on just the right restaurant, can be a challenging first-time experience. But---a fun one and well-worth it. Enjoy!
Re. your two choices: Green Bo or Sweet N Tart.
My personal favorite is Green Bo--great food, great waiters. Sort of just the way you imagine the Chinatown experience. But it's noisy and small and gets crowded quickly. If I'm there by 11:45 a.m., I get my choice of table. (I think they open at 11:30.) I'm nuts about the "crab with egg" and the "stuffed bean curd skin & puff with Minced Pork with Bean Noodle Casserole." Rich, heavy stuff for lunch--but I could eat these dishes at 7 am.
Re Sweet and Tart - I've had two lunches there--both very good, but not Green Bo. HOWEVER, if you want to relax over lunch and you get there early, you can go upstairs to a carpeted, quieter room with smaller tables and actually hear yourself think--in a way that won't happen at Green Bo! When I want a leisurely, quieter lunch with friends, I accept the trade-off.
So--for spectacular food in a small, crowded space, it's Green Bo.
For very good food--and a chance to converse with friends--it's Sweet N Tart on the second floor.
Both serve typical lunches (soup noodles, etc) plus their full menus. Plenty of dishes to choose from.
Let us know what you think after you choose one. Bon appetite.
Hmmm....A $5 supplement to sit upstairs? (You walk up one flight on the left and turn right into a not so fancy--but quieter room?) Don't remember being told it cost more--is there yet another level? A third? Maybe I better get back there asap and check out each and every level--and my favorite dish at each altitude. :-)
Both are open for lunch. The cuisines (Taiwanese vs. Shanghai) are quite different, so it's a question of what you crave.
As for ordering suggestions, we've had really extensive discussions of this, with lots of specific suggestions (perhaps more than for any other restaurants). Do some diving into this board and you'll glean dozens of ordering tips. And they should give an idea as to the diff. of the two cuisines. If you have further questions, please post again.
re: Jim Leff
This was wrong....Sweet and Tart is, of course, Hong Kong style, not Taiwanese. Though Flushing (where the flagship operates) is very Taiwanese these days, many of the teeny boppers hanging out at Flushing S&T are Taiwanese, and I detect a slight Taiwanese accent in some of the dishes, they are indeed clearly a Hong Kong style kitchen.
Hey, next time I slip up, someobdy please correct me, ok?