BTW, Happy Birthday to SSW!
P-‘s old neighbor who moved back to Japan was in town, so we went out to eat more often than usual this weekend.
Dragon Palace Restaurant (202 Centre St. Manhattan): new dim sum place near Lafayette St. The place is well apportioned, and the siu mai – type dim sums were very tasty. The kitchen needs to work some kinks out, because a bowl of fish congee (“juk”) and a fried rice dish, while tasty and obviously made to order, each took 20 minutes to come out.
Dumpling Man (100 St. Mark’s Place): not bad, but a little pricy. Best value is not order the combo, but order 10 packs. I liked the pork ones a lot, while P enjoyed the chicken, and they had a pumpkin dessert dumpling that was very tasty also. The red monster sauce was too slick and spicy for me – it made it hard to keep the dumpling in my mouth without slipping. The marco polo sauce is your basic Italian basil tomato sauce, but was a lot better than I was expecting. In future visits, though, I’d stick with the free sesame oil and soy sauce. Surprisingly, they do not offer hot tea.
Blue Smoke (116 E 27th): the only thing better than good ‘cue is ‘cue you didn’t have to pay for – while I got the drinks, P’s sister picked up the tab. You have to know that the chef is from St. Louis, so you ought to go with KC wet style BBQ and ribs; Texas dry rub or Carolina vinegar will probably not live up to expectations. We ordered two sides of ribs – the Kansas City ones were meater and more tender than the St. Louis ones, so I say go with the former. Mac and cheese was exceptional, with al dente pasta, as well as the collards and the creamed spinach.