Chinatown Brasserie

Chinatown Brasserie is the brainchild of Eddie Schoenfeld, a legendary New York restauranteur known for his involvement in four-star Chinese restaurants during the 1970s (click here for an article on my friend Jason’s blog and also for a podcast). The restaurant has two complete kitchens, one for Hong Kong-style dim sum and the other for Americanized Chinese-style dishes.

I had a dim sum Sunday brunch here today with a few friends. I can’t comment about the regular offerings since we didn’t order any. I’m not certain when I’ll get a chance to return but I do know I want to see if the barbecued pork loin is as good as it looks in Jason’s article.

Sauteed green beans with minced pork

Steamed eight treasure rice

Soup dumplings

Fried oysters served with a sweet and spicy plum sauce

The restaurant bills this as “lasagnettes”, which are egg noodles cut in the shape of sheets of lasagna, tossed with minced pork and peppers in a spicy sauce. A bit fusion-y. Ordinarily, I’m not a fan of that genre of cuisine but I’ll concede that this particular dish worked.

Dessert menus:

These were mochi filled with sesame paste. Off to the side are sponge cake tartlets and steamed egg custards.

“Dispel negativity through creative activities…in bed.

Out of 10? A high 6 to low 7. A 7.25 if I were feeling generous.

Food was ok for dim sum that doesn’t beat Dim Sum Go-Go or Golden Unicorn except for price. For a party of six, the total bill was over $200, not including tip. I know several places in Chinatown that serves food just as good as CB for a fraction of our bill. And no chicken feet here either.

Service could probably use a bit of improvement. A busboy missed my water glass in his haste to refill it. A few centimeters closer and he’d have soaked my digital camera.

Will I be back? Possibly, though I don’t know when. The problem is that New York has a glut of great restaurants and there’s not enough time in the year to eat at all of them.

Shortcomings aside, Mr. Schoenfeld should be commended for his concept. It’ll be interesting to see how things match up on the second go-round.

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anna brones

writer + artist + activist

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