Mon-Thu, 11am-11pm; Fri-Sat, 11am-midnight; Sun, noon-11pm
R at 86th St.
101st St. to 64th St., Stillwell Ave. to Shore Rd.
Not just another Cantonese fast-food joint, Chopstix makes a visual splash, with a decorative blue and purple pattern on one wall, a stylized mural of a street scene on the other, kitelike 3-D fabric-and-frame sculptures hanging from the ceiling, and images of stones marking a path along the floor. Even though there's a counter that's clearly designed for takeout, you'll want to settle in to a comfortable booth. There's nothing exotic, unfamiliar, or really outstanding on the menu; what's unusual is the quality of the ingredients—in everything from vegetarian dumplings to lo mein noodles, from mango chicken to a seafood basket of scallops, large shrimp, and squid. They go light on the oil and cornstarch, and dishes overall are neither too sweet nor too salty. But the food doesn't lack for flavor. Kung Po steak, for instance, arrives whole, on a sizzling platter with red chilies and roasted peanuts. Desserts such as cheesecake are decidedly un-Chinese.Recommended Dishes
Kung pao steak, $12.95