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Jul 30, 2009 10:38 AM

Your Top 3 Chinese Rests. OUTSIDE Chinatown!!

Best Food at any price!! dont care about decor.

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  1. In no order:

    Chinatown Brasserie
    Szechuan Gourmet
    Wu Liang Ye/Grand Sichuan (tied)

    6 Replies
    1. re: LeahBaila

      Wu Liang Ye was the focus of a brief article in the Times today by Jennifer 8 Lee (who is also the author of "The Fortune Cookie Chronicles"). I was surprised reading the article to learn, among other things, that one of the three Wu Liang Ye restaurants in Manhattan (the one on the west side) is not related to the other two.

      1. re: racer x

        Thanks for the update I always thought the midtown WLY was much better than the UES one anyway.

        1. re: scoopG

          I had no idea. I think they were related at one time, and I'm pretty sure as recently as 2006. Anyway, the one on Lexington in midtown is awful, but I thought UES was pretty good.

      2. re: LeahBaila

        Same three for me. I will also add one more: Cafe Evergreen on 1st Avenue.

        1. re: bearmi

          Oh I forgot to mention, I sort of like Joe's Shanghai on 56th too. I think it's decent for something in midtown although their price is much higher than its Chinatown location but I think there is less of a wait uptown.

          1. re: bearmi

            I don't think Joe's on 56th is worth the prices. Evergreen on 38th is as good and much cheaper for a similar menu.

      3. Grand Sichuan 3rd Avenue
        Szechuan Gourmet 39th St
        Grand Sichuan St Mark's Place

        1. I'll do by cuisine

          Cantonese: Phoenix Garden
          Shanghai: Evergreen or Our Place
          Sichuan: Szechuan Gourmet or Wu Liang Ye (48th)

          2 Replies
          1. re: Peter Cherches

            Can you expand on Phoenix Garden? I just noticed that spot the other day and was intrigued by the huge "Authentic Cantonese" sign out front.

            Szechuan Gourmet is my favorite Chinese restaurant inside or outside of Chinatown

            1. re: heWho

              Phoenix Garden is a Hong Kong/Cantonese seafood etc. restaurant, not unlike the ones you'd find in Chinatown, better than most in Chinatown, and not much more expensive. The oyster & roast pig casserole is amazing.

          2. I love this thread, it will be great to know about a good Chinese reastaurant in as many neighborhoods as possible. Agree Evergreen and Our Place are also good. Have been past Phoenix Garden but never ventured in, must check it out.

            7 Replies
            1. re: buttertart

              I usually don't trust Chinese restaurants that go beyond a region, but Our Place does many dishes beyond Shanghai well in their extended menu (including a great version of Chef Peng's Bean Curd (aka Bean Curd Home Style)). Chef Peng, originally from Hunan, was also the inventor of General Tso's Chicken, and worked in NY, Taiwan and China in his career. I recently learned this from Andrew Coe's book on Chinese food in the U.S., "Chop Suey."

              1. re: Peter Cherches

                By the way, the Evergreen I mentioned is the one on 38th St.

                1. re: Peter Cherches

                  I was going to ask. How is the food there? It's been at that location for many years already right? I have walked past it many times but never went in. What dishes are good to order there?

                  1. re: bearmi

                    All the Shanghai standards are good there. I can't think of any dishes in particular. They started in Chinatown, then had a place on Broadway & 10th, but this is the last one left.

                    1. re: Peter Cherches

                      Thank you. I will have to check it out one day. I think they used to advertise in the Chinese newspaper and every time I walk by there seem to be a lot of Chinese diners there. That's a good sign in terms of its authenticity.

                2. re: Peter Cherches

                  Chef Peng and his influences on US Chnese food is also discussed in Fuchsia Dunlop's Revolutionary Chinese Cookbook (and there's still a Peng's Restaurant in Taipei, very good food).

                  1. re: Peter Cherches

                    Our Place II (now called something else) 55th between Lex and 3rd

                3. Amendment: Swap out the GS on St Mark's for my favorite Shanghainese outside of CT, Tang Pavilion. I know this place doesn't get much love on these boards, but I find their real Shanghai dishes to be the equal or better of any of the SH restaurants' in the city. Try their chicken with yellow leeks, the beancurd skin with fresh soybeans and pork, the scallops with bamboo shoot and pickled vegetable, the lion's head, the asparagus with lily bud, the West Lake vinegar fish, for example. The winter melon and ham soup is not specifically SH in origin but is wonderful nonetheless (the broth is the closest thing to a consommé you are likely to encounter outside the hautest French places). We've been going there since they opened and have not had a bad dish (some so-so ones when friends ordered more American-Chinese dishes - this I fear is the reason the restaurant doesn't get the props it deserves).