It’s been open since the early 1980s, but there’s nothing dated about Chengdu 46. The gourmet Chinese restaurant has managed to keep a steady crowd of happy customers for the past 30 years thanks to two things: its romantic ambiance, and crack team of native Sichuan chefs. Families and dinner dates alike gather beneath red paper lanterns to savory crispy peking duck and empress chicken by the flickering candlelight. One chef specialty known as Spicy South Sea Pearls consists of whole sea scallops that have been fried, sautéed, and arranged to resemble a more grown-up version of a candy necklace. All food can be prepared for dine-in or takeout, and parties of four or more can reserve a private room and dine from a multicourse banquet menu.
Praised by the New York Times, Chef Jon’s Authentic Chinese Cuisine dishes up delights from the old country and the new. The pinnacle of Chef Jon’s kitchen and the lighthouse ushering in adventurous diners is its diverse array of authentic Huaiyang and Shanghai menu items, such as Grandma’s Red-Cooked Pork served with bok choy and marinated eggs ($14.95). Eel in hot-oil sauce ($16.95), sautéed sponge gourd with dough sticks ($9.95), and fish gluten with salty egg yolk ($14.95) allow diners to sample exotic flavors without licking a curry-covered Ferrari. Additionally, notable fan favorites, such as kung-pao chicken, serve to unwind any belly tornado ($8.95).
Tommy Chengs' chefs consolidate the flavors of China, Japan, and Thailand into a single kitchen. The menu of Asian indulgences is well suited to fit any budget, from lunchtime Japanese-style bento boxes that neatly arrange bites of beef teriyaki or pork katsu alongside shumai, rice, and soup or salad, to lavish platters of peking duck and sumptuous 17-piece sushi dinners for two. The BYOB restaurant stays open until 10 p.m. every night of the week, excluding every February 31.