I must say that I am so happy that I was able to take full advantage of Restaurant Week, and as my month of splurging continues, I found myself at Mr. Chow in Tribeca. Now Mr. Chow’s is a bit of a legend here in New York City, and in many cities around the globe, so I was really looking forward to this dinner. As we walked in, I was enveloped by a wonderful floral smell emanating from the beautiful orchid arrangements displayed on the tables.
I immediately loved the decor, very modern with clean lines, lots of metal fixtures and a black and white color theme. The servers were dressed to the nines in white tuxedos, and I would have felt under-dressed except for the fact that the rest of the clientele was dressed just like me – New York chic, I call it.
Our server came to the table and offered us drinks, but there was no drink menu and I had heard that they were quite pricey. He mentioned a Lychee Martini, and I couldn’t resist, knowing full well I would regret it later when I saw the bill. The picture is rather deceiving because it was quite a small martini, but it did have a fresh lychee, and it made it all worth it. (It turned out to be $16 by the way).
The menu was a little different than the other Restaurant Week menus we had experienced because it is more of a sharing concept. Each of the diners picks one appetizer and one entree which are served family style along with sauteed rice and vegetables of the day. I selected Mr. Chow’s Noodles and my husband picked Mr. Chow’s Ribs for the appetizers.
Again I find myself apologizing for the dim lighting, but I didn’t want to use the flash to disturb my fellow diners as we were sitting in pretty close proximity to one another. Anyway, I liked the presentation of the noodles, with the sauce on top and the cucumber sticks on the side, it gave it a more sophisticated air, but it did not make for easy serving. Because the noodles had not been tossed in the sauce, they were a bit sticky which made it difficult and messy to serve onto the plates. Once that challenge was surpassed, they were actually quite good. The sauce was a sweet and tangy meat sauce which was accentuated by the cool and crunchy cucumbers; it reminded me of a Chinese spin on the traditional Bolognese.
My husband’s ribs were good, but I found them to be a little dry. A small vessel with sauce had been placed on our table earlier with no explanation, and half way through the ribs it occured to me that perhaps it was for them. Once I doused them in this delicious sweet and spicy sauce, it was a huge improvement. I had to restrain myself from licking my fingers!
On to the entrees – we chose the Beef with Shepherd’s Purse and Drunken Fish. I had no idea what shepherd’s purse was, but my husband loves beef so that’s what we ordered. I only later googled it and discovered it is actually a weed in the mustard family (same family as cabbage, broccoli, and watercress). It didn’t have a very distinct flavor, it looked and tasted similar to spinach. The dish was very good, the meat was tender and the sauce was smoky and sweet.
I must say I am not a huge fan of fish (unless it’s sushi) but I really loved the Drunken Fish! The sauce was just delicious – it was sweet and had the subtle taste of wine coupled with the black exotic mushrooms and the delicate fish just melted in your mouth.
The Sauteéd Rice came in a charming little pot and was quite a nice portion with shrimp, scallions, and egg, and as the name suggests, was not fried, but rather sauteéd (as they attempt to offer a healthier Chinese cuisine). It didn’t have any overpowering flavors, but was very pleasant and coupled nicely with our entrees.
The vegetables of the day were string beans, and were very tasty. They were well cooked, not too soft, and smothered in a brown gravy often found in Chinese restaurants, but with a more refined taste. (The picture below is partially incomplete as my husband had already served himself).
And finally, our last course of the evening – the Chef’s selection of sorbet and ice cream. We were presented with one plate with a scoop of raspberry sorbet and vanilla ice cream.
I thought the presentation was a little odd because it seemed like there was something missing on the other half of the plate. But after quite a filling meal, the raspberry sorbet was very refreshing and light. And for vanilla ice cream, which to me is soooo “vanilla”, it actually had a pretty distinct vanilla flavor and was not as bland as expected.
For a Restaurant Week dining option, this was a fabulous pick! The prices here tend to be very high (especially for Chinese food), and for the amount and quality of food that we were given at a trendy Tribeca restaurant for only $38 this is an unheard of deal in the city.
Rating: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥
Mr. Chow | www.mrchow.com | 121 Hudson Street