Sun-Thu, 11:30am-10:30pm; Fri-Sat, 11:45am-11pm
6, J, M, N, Q, R, W, Z at Canal St.
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
In the heart of Chinatown, you expect uncompromised, robust flavors, and Peking Duck House doesn't disappoint. Duck, naturally, is the signature dish here, and the big attraction drawing in mainly crowds of non-Chinese folks pleased not to be sitting under fluorescent lighting. Peking Duck House takes a different approach than most Chinatown restaurants, as evidenced by its 2004 renovation. Its floor-to-ceiling window façade sports a voluptuous red curtain; inside, gray-fabric walls, beige banquettes, wood trim, hanging lanterns, recessed lighting, and immaculate white tablecloths exude urbane sophistication. This is not lost on its patrons, who include well-heeled tourists, downtown attorneys, and court officers. The kitchen artfully presents a wide standard Chinese menu that highlights the cooking of Peking, Shanghai, and Szechuan. While the food here may not be as flavorful or as aggressively spiced as the Chinese joint down the street, the presentation is unbeatable. The gorgeous, tawny brown Peking duck is a spectacle: Masterfully carved into thin slivers of tender meat and crispy, maltose-basted skin, it's fun to roll it up into the accompanying pancakes, along with scallions, cucumber strips, and hoisin sauce. The wide-ranging menu offers some adventurous fare, like sea cucumber with shrimp roe and Peking-style shark's fin, but the crowds seem content with standards like sliced beef with broccoli.Recommended Dishes
Peking duck dinner, $29 per person for four or more diners