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May 9, 2010 06:48 AM

Chinatown for a nice but not overly upscale dinner?

An LA friend is in town and staying right near C-town. We'll probably take her out one night and want a suggestion for a nice place -- i.e., not one of the holes-in-the-wall type places (which is what I otherwise frequent there) but something a bit more upscale. And we'll have a 3 year old with us, so it also needs to be kid-friendly. And not too fancy.

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    1. re: scoopG

      Well, my kind of place is Best Fuzhou (the one on Eldridge) which I see you reviewed. That is the sort of place I love but below the visual level of what I am hoping to take our friend to. From your listings, Amazing 66 sounds like it might be nice enough decor-wise.

      1. re: gutsofsteel

        Can anybody confirm they have reopened?

        1. re: kathryn


          I passed by DSGG on 4/19 - it was open. And there's a Yelp review dated 5/5.

      2. Amazing 66 would be a good choice. Also, Shanghai Cuisine (pretty sure that's the name) on Bayard at the Mulberry corner has Italian trattoria-type decor (nicely spaced tables, brick walls, big windows, lots of wood), and is quite good for some things, though it gets virtually no attention at all on these boards. Things I've had there which I've liked as well or better than at other Shanghainese places: soup dumplings (filling is usually especially good here; might be my favorite soup dumplings in Manhattan), Lion's Head meatball casserole, whole fish dishes. I've also heard that the stir-fried rice cakes are good, though I haven't tried those. Not really upscale at all, but perfectly "nice," and thus the kind of place I can comfortably take my midwestern parents to. A child would be absolutely no problem here.

        Amazing 66
        66 Mott St, New York, NY 10013

        Shanghai Cuisine
        89 Bayard St, New York, NY 10013

        1 Reply
        1. re: sarahmilne

          i second amazing 66. it is also highly recommended in various chinese discussion/review boards. the famous dish is the twin rice w/ lobster or crab. the steamed rice absorbs the shell fish flavor. pretty good stuff.

          my personal favorite is Yee Li at corner of bayard and elizabeth. i think it's an under-rated place, probably because it's good at certain dishes but not others. recommended: garlic fried chicken, steamed lobsters with garlic with "ho fun" noodles underneath, steamed fresh fish (you can pick from their tank). but above all, the reason i go there is for the cantonese bbq: roast duck, suckling pig (more like suckling pig style pork, actually), char siu etc. there are only a couple of places in ctown that does this properly (i.e. as good as the average stuff in hong kong).

          Yee Li
          1 Elizabeth St, New York, NY 10013

        2. All of the places recommended are fine but I'm not sure if they meet the "upscale over the hole-in-the-wall" test. Maybe something like Three Ocean Seafood on Bayard or Red Egg might be more appropriate. But foodwise you couldn't go wrong with the places mentioned.

          Red Egg
          202 Centre Street, New York, NY 10013

          1. Listen to me my friend. Do not go to Amazing 66, their kitchen looks like a scene from one of John Woo's grizzliest films. Go to Cantoon Garden on Elizabeth Street just south of Canal. It is the big yellow awning cant miss it, they changed the english name to some silly shit but do not be fooled. Order Lobsters with XO sauce. You will get 2 lobsters for $25, plenty of meat. Also order 1\2 fried chicken with garlic sauce. Finally get a vegetable such as baby bok choi with garlic or chinese brocoli, etc. Trust me.

            Amazing 66
            66 Mott St, New York, NY 10013

            3 Replies
            1. re: FrankieLymon

              Cantoon Garden is awesome, but the atmosphere/decor there is not what I'd describe as "nice." It's no hole in the wall, but it is a chaotic, communal seating type experience--one where they bunch up the paper tablecloths after everyone is done messily eating and throw them in the trash.

              1. re: sarahmilne

                ive always gone with 1 other person and never experienced communal seating. i think it is upscale as far as chinatown goes

                1. re: FrankieLymon

                  South China Garden (which is what Cantoon Garden is called now) is not upscale for Chinatown or anywhere else. I love the place, but it's loud and crowded and yes, communal seating is the norm if you can't snag one of the few 2-tops. Amazing 66 has a nicer interior, as does 6 Chatham Square and Oriental Garden and any number of other places.