Red lanterns cast a warm glow over burnished wood floors inside Village Gourmet China Bistro & Sushi, and hand-painted murals of blooming flowers and scenic mountains adorn the walls. In the kitchen, chefs pan-sear duck pot stickers, sizzle sesame chicken in woks, and steam filets of chilean sea bass. Diners can also take a seat at a cherry-red sushi bar to watch chefs craft specialty sushi rolls like the heart-shaped, tuna-wrapped Valentine roll with avocado and crisp apple.
In 1979, Sam Chan arrived in New York City from his native Hong Kong. He quickly set to work moving up the ranks of the restaurant industry chain—from dishwasher to prep cook to chef maitre'd and finally to owner of his own establishment, Sichuan Pavillion. Chan poured his heart and soul into his restaurant, painstakingly developing a menu of freshly made authentic cuisine from all the distinct regions of the China. In time, Sam's son Ricky joined his father to help run the business, drawing on years working there to help create a new menu as an ode to Chinese-American culture and cuisine.
The restaurant’s seasonal tasting menus feature morsels of exotic treats such as marinated jellyfish or fivespice-salted Peking chicken. Made-to-order dishes include steamed pork dumplings and slow-simmered spicy Sichuan tofu. In addition to whipping up traditional delicacies, the restaurant's chefs also show off their skills with plates of Americanized Chinese fare enlivened by unexpected touches, such as General Chan's chicken made with succulent dark meat or surf and turf of filet mignon and sea scallops stir fried in a zesty black pepper sauce.
At Chili Chicken Indian Twist, palates on a mission to explore eastern cuisines can traverse the esculent gamut of both Indian and Chinese cuisine on the extensive menu. Warm body interiors with a bowl of sweet-corn soup ($3) or lightly breaded hot and crispy shrimp with a sweet chili sauce ($7), or sate subcontinent-shaped stomachs with Indian treats such as samosas ($5), lamb tikka masala ($13), or vegetable clay-pot curry for a traditional taste of vibrant, aromatic spices ($9). Alternatively, those with stomachs hankering to venture north of the Himalayas can try double-fried tofu in a mild chili-ginger sauce ($9) or bombay szechwan fried rice with shrimp ($10). Chili Chicken Indian Twist also offers a list of domestic and imported beer ($5–$8), as well as house wines by the glass ($6.50), ideal for swigging before partaking in blindfolded slam-dunk contests.
Yellow lanterns sway above a burbling indoor waterfall, whose murmurs mask the sound of keen knives slicing through flanks of fish behind Water Moon’s sushi bar. Inside the bustling kitchen, pinches of spices culled from Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, and Thai culinary traditions grace dumplings and spring rolls as thick or glassy noodles entwine with vegetables, duck, seafood, or pork beneath a sprig of leafy herbs. Above the dining room’s black lacquered chairs and curved, orange banquette seating, wallpaper inspired by antique scrolls teems with classical characters and the definitive lyrics to “Louie Louie.”
Ginger Grill serves up a plentiful menu of Asian-inspired kosher cuisine in a friendly steakhouse setting. Kick off your taste buds' cross-cultural journey with a savory appetizer of dumplings filled with beef, chicken, or vegetables ($7.50), or warm up after group hugs at your Snowmans Anonymous meeting with a bowl of matzo ball soup ($5). Ginger Grill boasts a meat-filled cornucopia of protein-rich entrees such as chicken with black mushrooms and bamboo shoots ($16) and Szechuan lamb ($23). Steakhouse-flavor favorers, meanwhile, can carve into a hearty rib eye ($28), while the indecisive can blend multiple meats with the wok specialty happy family, which brings together chicken, beef, veal, and mixed vegetables to form a brown-sauce smothered portrait ($19). General Tso's tofu ($12) will delight herbivores and herbivoyeurs alike with its vegetarian-friendly spin on a fusion standard. Ginger Grill also serves up a wide selection of pasta and fish dishes, as well as classic and signature sushi rolls.