You put da drink in da coconut
Excellent Dumpling House Offers a Great Lunch
Ah, to be a part of the justice system! My civic duty was recently called upon through a jury summons! While I was waiting for hours, I spent some time researching where to have lunch - best use of my time for sure. Since I was in Chinatown, I started to crave soup dumplings. Based on the amount of time I had and my location, I chose Excellent Dumpling House (no website, http://www.yelp.com/biz/excellent-dumpling-house-new-york).
I didn't have breakfast, so I was hungry! I ordered the Chicken with Garlic Sauce lunch special - $6.95 (served with choice of soup, fried rice and a spring roll!). I ALSO wanted the pork soup dumplings, so I ordered those too - #yolo
The Hot and Sour soup was really tasty - large pieces of tofu that were delicious.
The soup dumplings were great! The dipping sauce served with them was sooooooo tasty!
By the time my entrée came, I was losing steam! I ate all the chicken and most of the peppers, but I couldn't really tackle the rice or spring roll. The chicken was very saucey. The chicken was tender and great quality - especially given the cheap pricing. Sometimes, I am a bit weary of chicken at cheap Chinese restaurants.
If you find yourself in Chinatown at lunch time, especially on jury duty (eek!), this is a good bet.
An Awesome Setting for an Incredible Feast
After our fun day, Courtney and I met up with my brother for dinner at Tao Downtown (http://taorestaurant.com/downtown/). As I guessed, even though we had 8:15pm reservations, we were given a buzzer and told we would be notified when our table was ready. We walked through the main dining hall to the bar.
After looking at the cocktail menu, we all ordered a drink. I chose the Ruby Red Dragon, made with Finlandia Grapefruit Vodka, Yuzu Citrus and a Hint of Pomegranate.
The backdrop of the bar is beautiful. I think I will come back here just for drinks sometime - a new date location!
We ordered a bunch of plates to share among us. My favorite was one of the small plates, Satay of Chilean Sea Bass with a Miso Glaze. I loved it SO MUCH that I found a recipe online and recreated it (http://allrecipes.com/recipe/miso-and-soy-chilean-sea-bass/) - it is spot on! Anyway, back to Tao!
Our next course that came out was another small plate, Rock Shrimp Lettuce Cups with spicy mayo and jalapeno lime. I was SO DISAPPOINTED with this choice! Normally I love dishes like this but it really lacked flavor - which is shocking given the spicy mayo! Thumbs down. Boo.
Courtney ordered the small plate, Crispy Rice Tuna served with spicy mayo and kabayaki sauce (whatever that is) - SHE LOVED IT! I didn't try it since I was too busy with my Sea Bass.
She also got the Pork Potstickers served with gochujang and sesame. She enjoyed it and I tried one. They were good. It is sort of hard to mess up potstickers!
Since I figured many of the small plates would be SMALL, I ordered a Chicken Pad Thai for the table. It was really yummy and a big serving, even for a fancy spot like this! It was served with a pair of wooden tongs - cute touch!
My brother decided to order several pieces of sashimi. It is served in a beautiful bowl on a bed of ice. Great Presentation!
After I finished my first cocktail, I ordered the drink Courtney first ordered: The Thai Basil Smash, made with Stoli Citrus, Thai Basil and (fresh!) Mandarin Orange. It was fantastic! The fruit was fresh (not canned) and the cocktail was very refreshing.
This is definitely a happening spot. I would recommend visiting for the cocktails and the ambiance. The food is fairly expensive for what it is, you're paying to eat at a trendy spot not necessarily to have a food-gasm.