Menu Changes at Szechuan Gourmet
Last night I was suddenly seized with the desire for Szechuan food so I stopped off at Szechuan Gourmet on 39th. I was surprised to find they have redone the menu. It appears there are some new or renamed dishes there - I can't figure out which or perhaps it's a mix of both. (The new menu isn't available on menupages.com. Likewise the take out menu hasn't been updated so I can't do a detailed comparison.) My beloved shredded pork and dry bean curd isn't there any more but I'll bet if I ask nicely they'll make it for me. Dan dan noodles are now on the menu (they used to be a special request item) and they were very good indeed although a bit oversalted. Nice heat though.
I had a newly minted pork belly dish - shredded crispy belly with leeks - and it was first rate. The previous incarnation of this dish was a bit fatty but this was a perfect blend of fat and lean. The shredding helped insure the crispness - previously the pork was cut into broad flat slices like bacon. This was an excellent dish and I look forward to eating my way through the new menu.
On the negative side it looks like prices are up a bit - $2 to $3 per dish. This won't break the bank at Monte Carlo but it's worth noting. I think the beers are up about 50 cents as well. Serves me right for posting about this place so much.
Back to Szechuan Gourmet on Saturday prior to seeing "Beyond Glory" at the Laura Pels theater. (Highly recommended.)
This was my 2nd visit now that the new menu is in place and I continue to be impressed with their cooking. Not wishing to fall asleep in the middle of the play we ate lightly. We started with the obligatory Dan Dan noodles. I love this stuff but it makes for a comfortable rut. As usual, it was an outstanding rendition but I need to branch out a bit.
For our main we split the double cooked sliced pork belly with chili leeks. While there are about 3 or 4 variations of this dish at various top rank Szechuan restaurants in Manhattan and Queens this one was really outstanding. The pork belly was perfectly done and, unlike other versions I've had of this dish, there was just the faintest touch of sweetness in the sauce. It offset the spiciness perfectly.
As I've mentioned earlier the prices have gone up a bit but the serving size can easily feed 2 people. I'm really looking forward to getting back there and trying all new dishes. Menupages now has the new menu on line.
A very good restaurant has gotten even better.
re: Bob Martinez
I don't like their Dan Dan Noodles as much as the Grand sichuan versions. One thing on their menu that is great is the spicy cucumber salad. I'm still upset that they took off the dried and sauteed string beans but the menu does look promising if I can ever get through enough of it.
OK so we went to SG for the first time and while the dishes ranged from good to great - crispy lamb/cumin was wonderful - virtually everything was overwhelmed with salt. I know Szechuan leans in that direction but have not found the other leading spots in NY (Wu Liang Ye, GS, Spicy and Tasty) to be so relentlessly drenched to the point that it was difficult to discern any other flavors. Ouch. Is this typical for SG?