This year's Lunar New Year kicks off on Friday, February 16, and many Asian cultures will celebrate the beginning of the lunisolar calendar with an abundance of food, festivals with firecrackers and lion dances, and lots of red, which signifies good luck.
"The Lunar New Year is a special time when the worldwide Chinese community celebrates the occasion with family and friends," Ed Schoenfeld, co-owner of RedFarm, a Chinese restaurant with two locations in NYC, says. Along with RedFarm, lots of other NYC restaurants are getting in on the action with special dishes in honor of the holiday. Here are some of our favorites.
On February 15 and 16, Chinese import DaDong will feature stations throughout the restaurant where chefs will prepare dumplings in full view of guests, with every table receiving a complimentary order. Each party will also receive a red envelope with a prize—yours might be a complimentary bottle of Champagne.
Today and tomorrow, this hot pot spot is serving a unique prix fixe menu that involves a Yin-Yang pot with two broth bases: herbal Silkie chicken and Sichuan spicy beef tallow. A traditional red envelope hiding a coupon for complimentary dishes will be given to each table.
Little Tong Noodle Shop will pay homage to its Yunnanese roots with a 16-day celebration, from February 15 all the way through March 2. The menu draws inspiration from the New Year's traditions of chef Simone Tong's past, with each day offering meaningful items, from day three's goubuli (18-fold dumplings) to day 16's yuan xiao (sweet sticky rice ball soup).
The modern Chinese restaurant is serving classic dishes flavored with black truffles, such as soup dumplings, chowder, fried rice and grilled lobster. The truffles, which will be available through tomorrow, are sourced directly from farmers in France.
This new all-day restaurant from David Laris draws its influences from the chef's time spent cooking in China. A special prix fixe menu will be available throughout the month, with dishes like Shaoxing Wine Drunken Crab.
This hip Doyers Street spot will offer traditional Chinese New Year items through Saturday, a day that will start off with a nine-course dim sum brunch (including dishes like Singaporean curried potato spring rolls and shrimp and wood ear mushroom shumai) and end with a banquet-style dinner.
The "clubsteraunt" in the Meatpacking District will host a Chinese New Year dim sum brunch on Sunday from noon to 2:30 p.m. and will include performances from Luen Hing Lion Dance Team, red envelopes for good luck and a traditional tea service.
Dale Talde's newest restaurant will serve a family style menu on Friday and Saturday, complete with a lion dancer performance during Friday's lunch service. Each dish symbolizes a different wish for the New Year, like red braised whole fish for prosperity and mushroom longevity noodles for happiness and a long life.
Bessou, a Japanese comfort food restaurant, will be celebrating the New Year all weekend long. Guests can enjoy Papa's Spicy Yosenabe (seafood hot pot with king crab, shrimp, diver scallops and spicy miso broth) and a glass of Shiragiku Nigori hot sake. On February 18, Bessou will host a Lunar New Year Nabe (Hot Pot) Party in collaboration with Sakeman.
Devorah Lev-Tov is a contributing writer for Tasting Table who travels the globe—and traverses NYC block by block—in search of her next amazing meal. See her latest adventures on her Instagram at @devoltv.
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