4, 5, 6 at 59th St.; N, R, W at Lexington Ave.-59th St.
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
You'll be forgiven if, upon entering Mr. Chow, you think you've wandered into Signor Chow by mistake. The fleet of handsome, Italian-accented waiters and the dramatic sunken dining room—mirrors and black lacquer everywhere, like something out of Pacino's Scarface—do nothing to suggest Chinese food is on the menu. In fact, there is no menu. Once the hubbub of greetings abates, your waiter announces that he will determine the menu for a meal unlike any other. He interviews you about your likes and dislikes, and what you feel like eating. Still no mention of Chinese food. So it's a surprise when appetizers arrive: A pile of crispy seaweed, accompanied by addictive candied walnuts and small, chewy sticks the waiter identifies as chicken but which taste like shrimp paste; bamboo steamers of miniature vegetable dumplings; and what appears to be chicken satay, although the peanut sauce tastes like it’s made with dairy butter. The main course is more decidedly Chinese, and more successful: Beijing chicken, nuggets of tender breast meat with those candied walnuts in a yellow bean sauce; chunks of sea bass with asparagus, red peppers, and mushrooms, in a simple white sauce; and Chinese broccoli lightly stir-fried with garlic. Until the bill comes, you may think a restaurant with no menu and courses designed to your palette is a good idea.Extra
If you hope to sample the flash without being suckered into the three-figure check, think again: The bar is open only to restaurant customers.Recommended Dishes
Minced squab in lettuce leaves; Beijing chicken; sea bass with mixed vegetables