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“Chinatown Brasserie”

  Occasion: Cuisine: Area: Cost: Rating:
  Night Out Asian East Village Moderate Great

With the humidity pressing down on the city like a hot wet sponge, I thought I’d bring you back a few months to that most wonderfully frigid time of the year: Christmas. I’ve being thinking about Christmas a lot recently, after many, many fun (and delicious) meals at Chinatown Brasserie, the newest restaurant from Lever House and Lure Fishbar partners John McDonald and Josh Pickard. Why Christmas? Because it is the night of my annual Chinese Banquet—an yearly eating and kvetching conference of all my Jewish friends and anyone else who feels like ditching their families and celebrating Hanukah, Kwanza, and/or Festivus. I am going to reserve the private room as soon as I finish writing this.

But hey, you don’t need to wait until Christmas for Chinatown Brasserie, nor should you. I recommend a visit in the near future. Start it off with a Frozen Mai Tai ($10), a thick and frosty margarita-alternative that is possibly the greatest frozen cocktail invention since the piña colada. But be warned: there’s a ton of booze in there, which you won’t taste. So try to limit yourself to two or you will freeze your brain and endure a good deal of pain the next morning. That said, the cocktails, by Rainlove Lampariello, are spectacular, which is reason enough to head over to Chinatown often if only sip and slurp on the Grapefruit Tequila Gimlet ($12), a margarita gone wild with fresh grapefruit puree and lime zest, the Ginger Dragon ($12)—vodka, ginger, lemon juice and Peaychaud’s bitters, or the Lychee Martini ($12), a gin and lychee infusion so fresh with cucumber you can practically taste them.

The design is also a reason to head over to Chinatown. The first restaurant by residential architect William Georges, Chinatown is a Geisha-sexy brasserie that has a Far East meets Left Bank vibe, with silk screened Asian print panels, claw-footed banquettes, bistro chairs, a smooth zinc bar, and elegant Chinese lantern lighting.

But truly, the grub is the star here (though the presence one night of Uma Thurman did take my attention away from the food for a moment or two). Two chefs control the menu. For your dim sum-induced pleasure, you can thank Joe Ng who last worked in Chinatown in Bensonhurst (who knew there was a Chinatown there?) and for the menu of everythin ... [more, click below]

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