- Grand Sichuan
15 Seventh Ave. S., nr. Leroy St.; 212-645-0222
When’s the last time you tasted homemade chicken broth in your wonton soup? Or enjoyed chewy barbecue spare ribs that weren’t lacquered like wax sculptures? Or wafer-thin, crunchy-skinned scallion pancakes not drenched in gallons of old peanut oil? Xiaotu Zhang’s newest restaurant, on lower Seventh Avenue, is the most unassuming member of his successful Grand Sichuan chain, and also the purest. The modestly priced menu reads like a primer on the pleasures of old-fashioned Chinese home cooking. The tea-smoked duck is smoked to order while you wait at your table sipping tea. The thin-skinned wontons are dunked in chili oil. And Chong Qing spicy chicken, that classic Sichuan dish, costs $11.95 and is wreathed in a crown of fiery red peppers.