New York dining scene

We planned to catch up with one of our couple friends for dinner tonight in TriBeCa. We pretty much never eat in TriBeCa, nor do we even go there. TriBeCa is one of those neighborhoods where the rent and general cost of living is stupidly exorbitant, the restaurants are equally overpriced and overhyped — and anyway, who wants to live there when during a hurricane, it will likely be under water and without electricity, anyway?

But I really wanted to try this Shanghainese spot that opened by the same owners who run Cafe China in midtown. It’s not located in any Chinatown, but I always enjoyed the food and am eager to try new Shanghainese places that sound authentic (so many places in Chinatown say they are Shanghainese.. but they really aren’t). And so I made a booking for us at 6:30 on Yelp and made my way down there.

So, the annoying thing about eating at a fancy Chinese restaurant vs. a regular Chinese restaurant is that when you go to a regular Chinese spot in Chinatown or other very Chinese area, they don’t care if you add one more person. If you add one more person to a “fancy” spot, they either won’t give you your table, or they will just have you get seated three hours later. Those were our two options tonight when Chris’s friend wanted to come join us… and couldn’t.

The food was very good. The service was just okay. And in typical Chinese fashion, even at a fancy restaurant, they made sure we were out of there within two hours when they had their next booking setup for our four-top.

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