Best Chinese Restaurant

Peel back that disingenuous name, and you get what the restaurant is really about: impeccably cooked Northern Chinese fare. A lip-numbing slick of chili oil lubricates the wontons. Noodles and soft, tendon-y beef lurk beneath a dark-as-tea soup redolent of anise for a classic niu rou mien. Thousand-year-old egg with bluish yolks and clear-as-aspic albumen ride silken tofu blocks like a parade float. All that's cooked in the kitchen—a space separated from the dining room only by glass panes so you can see its inner workings like the gears of a transparent clock—will be unlike anything you've had elsewhere. Even the wedding-banquet staple of honey-glazed walnut shrimp is immaculate. It's more elegant, more vibrant than at any restaurant that has the words “jade,” “dragon” or “panda” in the title.

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