1 at Franklin St.; A, C, E at Canal St.
American Express, Diners Club, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Like many successful businessmen, Mr. Chow developed an effective formula early on and has never deviated from it. His menu dates from a distant, Paleolithic era when Chinese food still retained an element of mysterious cachet. Always, the food is served by bow-tied waiters in an exaggerated, pseudo-swank, Continental style. Always, it's outrageously expensive, a canny tactic designed to alleviate the hidden fear, among the masses who flock there, that it might not be very good after all. In the case of Mr. Chow Tribeca, this fear is further alleviated by the restaurant's slick, even lavish décor. The room has a polished black bar in front, flanked with frosty silver bowls brimming with opened bottles of champagne. Decorative squares of white lacquered wood have been affixed to the ceiling with metal rods, and the walls are covered with blow-up fashion portraits of Mr. Chow and his faded celebrity friends (a famished-looking Christopher Walken) in sepia tones. Fresh lilies and sprays of white roses have been placed strategically around the room, and the tables are covered in crisp white linen, and lit from within, in the center, with glowing squares of light. On a quiet night, the place can seem pleasant and stylish, in a glam, eighties sort of way. On a crowded night, the service falls off a cliff, the decibels reach hysterical Beatlemania levels, and it's easy to feel like the regretful participant in some restaurant reality-TV show.Ideal Meal
Jade water dumplings, rice-paper prawns, Beijing duck, coconut sorbet