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Some Restaurant Recommendations for Chinese New Year

Written By Scott Joseph On February 3, 2011

Today is the Chinese New Year and the beginning of the Year of the Rabbit. And the big question is: Which late-night comedian will be the first to declare in his monologue tonight, “I’m still writing the Year of the Tiger on all my checks”? I’ve got 50 bucks on Letterman.


For most Americans, the advent of the Chinese New Year is little more than a nudge to go out and enjoy a good Chinese meal. And, again for most Americans, that means going to a Chinese restaurant and ordering something that if served in China would be totally foreign. Menus in American Chinese restaurants are loaded with items that were developed in American kitchens. Then again, there aren’t a whole lot of world cuisines that are entirely authentic when served in this country. I’m looking at you, Italian.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go out and enjoy a good Chinese meal, even if it’s egg foo young or General Tso’s chicken, finished with a fortune cookie that most likely came from Brooklyn.

You can find some Chinese restaurants with a little more authenticity, even some with separate menus for Chinese and American guests (what’s the Chinese word for gringos?). A couple of restaurant that I like are Ming’s Bistro and Chan’s Chinese, both in the Mills50 district. Ask if there is a genuine Chinese menu and don’t take meiyou for an answer. I still recall when I ordered something distinctly Chinese at Ming’s Bistro the first time I visited the woman in charge did her best to talk me out of it because she was certain it was something Americans would find revolting. I also recall that I rather enjoyed it.

And before you ask, no, as far as I know, none of these restaurants will be offering rabbit. You have to wait for the Year of the Pig for the full immersion experience.

Here’s a list of some other Chinese restaurants I can recommend (the links will take you to their listings for more information):


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