Thursday, January 24, 2008

East Meets West on the East Side

I don't love going to restaurants more than once because of the sheer volume of great restaurants in New York. I almost feel guilty back because it means I'm missing out on trying somewhere new. Since I decided only to write about restaurants I dine at going forward, I made an exception to this rule...since they'll all be new to Miss Menu! So last night, that's just what I did at Chino's.

When I've mentioned Chino's to people in the past, most of the time they've never heard of it, and can't picture having walked past it on 3rd Avenue. But my experience last night was quite the opposite...very memorable. As I mentioned in a recent post, I've been very drawn to tapas/small plates-style eating lately, whether it be Spanish, Italian, or in Chino's case Asian fusion.

My first experience at Chino's was a pleasant surprise...a cool ambiance, creative dishes, and a great value. And last night was no different. We ordered four small plates for two people, and it was the perfect amount of food. They have the service down to a science...bring out the cold dishes pretty quickly, and then after a nice breather, bring out the hot dishes. A much better approach than bombarding a tiny table with too many plates.

Chino's gets it right. They take somewhat typical Asian dishes and give them all really interesting twists. My favorites last night were the Seared Tuna Summer Rolls and Chino's Chow Fun. Rather than being prepared in the typical summer or spring roll style, these rolls were served like pieces of sushi, along with a fantastic green peanut sauce. The tuna was so fresh, and the papaya gave it a great flavor. The chow fun is a complete 180 from the typical chow fun you'd order from your local Chinese takeout/delivery place, with a really flavorful sauce and mix of fresh vegetables.

Chino's is definitely a hidden gem in a neighborhood that lacks great restaurants. So, if you find yourself on 3rd Avenue, make sure you don't walk right past this place next time!

Chino's
3rd Avenue
b/t 16th & 17th Streets
website
Menu Pages listing

1 comment:

danny said...

I'm with you on the whole, 'revisiting restaurants' idea. Every week there are new openings and there are always new places on blogs. About the only places that get my repeat business are neighborhood take-out joints.

Chinos sounds interesting, if I am ever walking around in that area, I will try to check it out.