Doesn't get much cuter than this: PAC-MAN dumplings at RedFarm.
Credit: Evan Sung
Celebrate the Year of the Snake at one of these Metro-approved buzzy spots.
Mission Chinese Food
154 Orchard St., 212-529-8800
The space is pretty cramped and there's always a line out the door, but people are consistently flocking to Danny Bowien's less-than-a-year old restaurant to sample the inventive "Americanized-Oriental" food that critics just can't get enough of. Try the salt cod fried rice and the thrice-cooked bacon (it's spicy!) and wash it down with beer, wine or sake. If you can get a table, any table, take it.
529 Hudson St., 212-792-9700
Step inside this West Village townhouse for a taste of China influenced heavily by the greenmarket. The restaurant's traditional reservation policy is not in effect during Chinese New Year festivities (Feb. 8-13); call at 5 p.m. on the day you want to dine to get yourself on the list. The eatery's a la carte menu will be available, as will a number of Year of the Snake specialty dishes, like Prosperity spinach and crab dumplings, Gold Coin scallops and Long Life short ribs with double noodles.
- PHOTOS: What's Brewing in Steamy Hallows, the Harry Potter-Inspired Cafe19 Pictures
- PHOTOS: Frida Kahlo at the Brooklyn Museum doesn't hold back23 Pictures
Xi'an Famous Foods
Multiple locations, www.xianfoods.com
Xi'an, named after China's first capital, offers an amalgam of Chinese and Middle Eastern delights that foodies like Anthony Bourdain and Andrew Zimmern can't speak highly enough about. The famous dishes here include Liang Pi "Cold Skin" Noodles, a savory cumin lamb burger and lamb Pao Mo, and if you can't make it out to Flushing, you can get your fill at the shop's East Village, Chinatown and (come Saturday) Greenpoint locations. Already a fan of this place? Try the owners' new Flushing joint, Biang!, a family-style, cash-only spot specializing in noodles.
75 Ninth Ave., 212-989-6699
The sprawling space is worth a visit year-round, but for Chinese New Year, it's offering a kick-off Dim Sum brunch on Feb. 10 (three courses, $55), dancers, a DJ and those tiny little red envelopes given out for prosperity — a select number of those envelopes will contain a ticket for an insider's tour of Chinatown with Buddakan's Executive Chef Yang Huang. For two weeks afterwards, the celeb-friendly hotspot (we've spotted Eva Longoria and Heidi Klum in the past) will be serving a la carte options that represent the virtues associated with Chinese New Year, like happiness and longevity. And to round out the festivities, the chefs and kitchen team will host a dumpling making class and brunch on Feb. 16 ($85 per person).
Hakkasan New York
311 W. 43rd St., 212-776-1818
The Michelin-starred eatery is serving Cantonese dishes like a New Year dim sum platter, stir-fry crispy sesame prawn, wok-fry scallop with Chinese chive in sweet barbecue sauce and mixed mushrooms wrapped in beancurd. You can enjoy them with specialty cocktails, like the Chinese Mule (Hangar One vodka, Ama No To junmai sake, cilantro, ginger, lime and ginger beer) or the Hakkatini (Grey Goose L'Orange vodka, Campari, Grand Marnier, apple juice and orange bitters).
And don't miss
- Feb. 21's Lunar New Year Banquet at Golden Unicorn (18 E. Broadway, 212-378-6799) will feature a 10-course feast as well as health and beauty advice from a traditional Chinese doctor.
- On Feb. 10 — the official date of Chinese New Year — Hotel Indigo's China Latina (127 W. 28th St., 646-397-9881) is beginning a quirky Latin American-Asian fusion dim sum, with items like sushi burritos, chorizo dumplings and teriyaki-ginger chicken wings. Gung hay fat choy, readers!
Follow Meredith Engel on Twitter @MeredithAtMetro.