In Bay Ridge, of All Places, Superior Szechuan

Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, brings a lot to the table—some of New York’s best Middle Eastern and old-school Italian food, for starters—but for authentic Chinese, most hounds look elsewhere. That may change. Grand Sichuan House opened early last month on Fifth Avenue, and as scooter reports, “it’s for real. ... I couldn’t believe I was eating double sauteed [pork] just blocks away from 86 Noodles, where I had the worst imitation of the dish EVER.”

“This is a seriously good restaurant,” concurs Bob Martinez, whose Szechuan palate has been calibrated at local go-to spots like Spicy and Tasty and Szechuan Gourmet. “Based on one meal, this place compares favorably.” Best thing on the table: shredded duck with green beans, boasting nice crisp texture and a robust kick. Dan dan noodles are about as good as they get, Bob adds.

scooter singles out an exceptional version of cumin beef: dry-cooked strips of spice-encrusted meat—“crispy, addictive, fiery little morsels,” Deb Van D agrees. Also endorsed by hounds: Szechuan wontons, Chengdu dumplings, shredded pork with fried bean curd, mung bean noodle with spicy pepper sauce, sliced pumpkin with ginger and scallion, shredded chicken with sour cabbage, and shredded potatoes with green chiles in vinegar sauce. Soups are wonderful, adds ene—try shredded pork with pickled cabbage or fish with pickled mustard greens—and dry-salted crispy pig intestine is first-rate, “the best version I have had outside of China.”

Grand Sichuan House is said to be connected with the Grand Sichuan location in Manhattan’s East 50s. Its owner, apparently figuring authentic Szechuan will be a hard sell in Bay Ridge, has hedged his bets by installing a sushi bar. So far, though, the neighborhood has greeted the newcomer with a collective shrug. “Business seems criminally slow,” frets scooter. “God I hope they make it!”

Grand Sichuan House [Bay Ridge]
8701 Fifth Avenue (between 87th and 88th streets), Brooklyn
718-680-8887

Board Link: Real Sichuan food in Bay Ridge

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