Amazing 66, a Cantonese newcomer in Chinatown, is already drawing crowds with clean, clear flavors and inventive preparations. Braised and steamed dishes are smart picks, advises Brian S. “Braised duck with eight precious” is a generous portion of boneless duck breast topped with squid, shrimp, scallops, pork, chicken, pea pods, carrots, and mushrooms, and served with rich, ducky broth. Frog, deftly stir-fried with lily bulbs then steamed with rice, is a deservedly popular order, reports designerboy01. He senses a sure hand in the kitchen and an interest in introducing New Yorkers to less familiar dishes.
Other hits from Amazing 66’s first month in business: lobster over pan-fried noodles, baby bok choy with garlic, crisp chicken with pickled cabbage, five-spice-scented braised duck with brown mushrooms, spoon-tender beefsteak in a rich garlicky casserole, and steamed chicken with ham, broccoli, and mushroom in velvety, intensely chicken-y sauce. Portions are large, at least for now–steamed sliced salmon in black bean sauce is actually two huge salmon steaks, served in a deep bowl with dark savory broth. And you just might receive an order of soup on the house.
Rare miscues include overly chewy pork belly with squid and occasional overcooking and under-seasoning. Stick to Cantonese dishes; Miss Needle warns of leaden soup dumplings, disappointingly short on soup.
Three blocks north, a past Cantonese favorite appears to be on its game. 213 Grand Street Gourmet, which at first glance is a barbecued-meat house with a steam table, also has full English and Chinese menus. Two casseroles from the Chinese menu stand out, says Brian S: meaty chicken and mushrooms in rich brown broth, and fried fish with roast pork, mushrooms, and bean curd–both fresh and generously portioned. Past reports praise 213 Grand’s lo mein, chow fun, roast pork, and dim sum.
On Lafayette, next to the hit-or-miss Excellent Dumpling House, humble lunch spot New Wing Wong has re-emerged as humble lunch spot Wing Huang. Locals crowd in from morning till early evening for solid, cheap soup noodles, congees, barbecued meats, and rice plates. Duck gizzards over rice are an off-menu highlight, advises Pan.
Amazing 66 Restaurant [Chinatown]
formerly Eastern Villa
66 Mott St., between Bayard and Canal, Manhattan
213 Grand Street Gourmet [Chinatown]
213 Grand St., between Mott and Elizabeth, Manhattan
Wing Huang [Chinatown]
formerly New Wing Wong
111 Lafayette St., between Canal and Walker, Manhattan