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Amazing 66 -- new in Chinatown

As the rest of the world anxiously watched the election returns, I investigated something even more important. A brand new restaurant has just opened right in the center of Chinatown, and tonight I ate there. Based on one visit, I'm not sure if Amazing 66 Restaurant is truly amazing or merely very good, but it's certainly worth a try.

The space that used to house the forgettable Eastern Villa has been totally redone. It's a spiffy beige decor accented with wood trim. There are two menus, both with English translations. All the usual suspects are there, along with some rarer dishes such as crabs steamed with rice in a bamboo rack, and several kinds of whole stuffed chickens that must be ordered a day in advance. I ordered a stewed beef casserole. Every place has a chicken version of this, but I've never seen it with beef. First came an egg drop soup, free. This is high on my list of what not to order, but if it's as good as this version I'll change my mind. Then the casserole. It had, not some tough stew beef, but a real steak (not a very good steak, not something that will have Mr. Peter Luger running to get the recipe, but nonetheless something tender enough that you could cut it with a spoon, cooked medium-rare), sliced, floating with onions and mushrooms in a rich garlicky broth. It was very very good.

Three different managers came over as I ate to ask if I liked the food. They seemed nervous. It is, after all, opening week. They needn't have worried. I liked it just fine. I'll be back.

Amazing 66 Restaurant
66 Mott St near Canal
(212) 334-0099

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  1. I enjoy your Chinatown posts. Please keep them coming. Have you done a "Chinatown for Novices" post? I have a friend who wants to check out Chinatown, but is "confused." She's also a "finnicky" eater--read unadventurous in her case. My friend would benefit from a Chinatown for Novices type of introduction to the area. Mind you, she's lived in Metro NY all her life...

    2 Replies
    1. re: Ora

      Thank you for this! I put a lot of work into the posts and other people finding them useful is my only reward. I've thought of writing a post like that. The closest I have come is this post, which I'm sure she will find amusing if not useful. It's called "Secrets of Chinatown"

      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

      Oh, and if you like reading about Chinatown, don't forget the Outer Boroughs board. There are four Chinatowns out there! I often go to Flushing, for places like this:
      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/show/...

      1. re: Ora

        Never mind a Chinatown for novices post..Brian should do a guidebook to good eats in C'town! We love you, Brian!

      2. Four Chinatown, hmmm, let's see. There's the one in lower Manh --Canal St area, there's Flushing, Qns... Where are the other 2??? I need to leave Manh more :)

        I strongly encourage you to share the wealth of your knowledge in a "beginner" post. The "Secrets" post is far to advanced for my finnicky friend. I have to start her off with drinks (taro bubble and the like) and dumplings and rice and work our way up.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Ora

          Sunset Park in Bkln, and I can't think where the 4th is.

          1. re: prunefeet

            Actually there are 5 or 6 Chinatowns. Besides the 3 alreay mentioned, there is a second one in Brooklyn, not sure of the neighborhood, one in Staten Island, and now Elmhurst in Queens is blossoming Chinatown.

            1. re: ltlevy

              Sunset Park is where the Brooklyn Chinatown is. P.

              1. re: ltlevy

                In Brooklyn, in addition to Sunset Park, there's a much smaller one along Ave U. between Coney Island Ave and E.17th St or so. Very convenient as the train station is right above it (2 stops past Ave J: Difara's).

          2. Thanks Brian, I knew you would go there. It doesn't look like a Fujianese place.

            2 Replies
            1. re: designerboy01

              Yeah, it was great. It's not Fujianese, it's straight-up Cantonese/Hong Kong.

              1. re: Brian S

                I'm going there for dinner tomorrow to try it out!

            2. sounds great. i'm intrigued by the whole stuffed chickens, having never tried this at a chinese resto before.

              1. Response to ORA, the response link to his/her post did not work:
                The other two Chinatowns are in Brooklyn, the largest in Sunset Park (8th Ave.), the other in Bensonhurst (Ave U). While there are more CTs in Brooklyn, there is a higher concentration of good to excellent restaurants in the ones in Flushing and Manhattan. (As a Brooklynite, I am embarrassed to admit this)

                1 Reply
                1. re: bobjbkln

                  Don't forget Elmhurst, Queens. Some good Chinese restaurants there, cheek-to-jowl with Sumatran, Javanese, Malayan, Vietnamese, Thai, Indian, you name it.