25 June 2012
a dinner at Peking Duck House
The stormy weather last Friday left me craving spicy Hot Pot. My husband and I decided to uncork a few bottles of rose and walk up to Chinatown in the rain. We found ourselves disappointed as Grand Sichuan was mysteriously closed. We decided to seek out another BYOB in the area, leading us to Peking Duck House.
A bit out of place for Mott St, the crowd was mostly non-Chinese. The dining room features floor-to-ceiling windows masked with red curtains, slate-colored fabric walls and stark-white table clothes.
We decided on the five-course Special House Dinner for Two ($38.75pp). To begin, I chose the Wonton Soup, my husband the Shrimp Sizzling Rice Soup. Warm and comforting, the Wontons were fresh and delicious.
Our appetizer course included a spring roll, steak skewer and chicken pine nut lettuce wrap. Quite generous, I tasted a bite of each and asked for the rest to be wrapped-up to ensure I wouldn't get too full to enjoy the other plates. I'd enjoy the lettuce wrap alone for dinner. The diced chicken was well-spiced and complimented the crispy lettuce well.
The duck shared plate arrived with pancakes, cucumbers, hoisin and scallions for wrapping. The venue boasts that their duck is the best in town and I offer much praise. It's no surprise that this is the milk and honey of the restaurant. Tender meat and crispy skin- the bird is quite superior to other dishes I've tasted in the neighborhood.
For our main, the waiter suggested without blinking that the lobster with ginger and scallion sauce was the right choice. The massive crustacean intimidated me a bit, but we dove in. The ginger was slightly aggressive for the light flavor of the meat, but I enjoyed it after the mellow duck. Small bowls of pork and shrimp fried rice accompanied the dish, which enhanced the experience as a palate cleanser.
For dessert, we were offered a lovely plate of ripened fruit. It should come as no surprise that we were delighted to bring home two large take-aways of leftovers. The tasting menu is generous in portions and of notable value.