Friday, February 08, 2008

Chinese New Year

For a more traditional experience than General Tso's, amNewYork offers its top picks for restaurants to celebrate Chinese New Year in the city. I heart dim sum and this place in Park Slope looks great. I have to check it out. My friend also loves the Vietnamese place listed below, which is across the river in Chinatown proper.

Park Asia
On Brooklyn's 8th Avenue lies New York's second Chinatown, though you won't find hawkers selling baby turtles and Gucci knock-offs. The neighborhood has an old-world flavor, as well as some of the city's best dim sum. Check out the modestly decorated Park Asia. As the cart touting goodies goes by, be sure to snag some crispy seafood rolls, taro dumplings and barbecue beef pastry. Bring an adventurous palate, because if you don't have a solid grasp of the Chinese language you're likely to bite into a crispy frog. 6521 8th Ave., Brooklyn; 718-833-1688; $7/person on average.

Nha Trang
While the Lunar New Year is most often referred to as Chinese New Year, few people are aware that the holiday is also celebrated by the Mongolian, Korean and Vietnamese cultures. For some killer Vietnamese food, head to Baxter Street's Nha Trang, where the portions are large, the tab is minimal and the service is lightning quick. The cornerstone of Vietnamese cuisine is Pho, a type of rice noodle in broth. The Pho Tai ($4.75) gets you a huge bowl with beef cooked just right. Locals go for the barbecue pork chop over rice ($5) and the squid, chili sauce and lemongrass ($8.75) is to die for. 87 Baxter St; 212-233-5948; $4.75-$8.75.

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