As the rest of the world anxiously watched the election returns, I investigated something even more important. A brand new restaurant has just opened right in the center of Chinatown, and tonight I ate there. Based on one visit, I'm not sure if Amazing 66 Restaurant is truly amazing or merely very good, but it's certainly worth a try.
The space that used to house the forgettable Eastern Villa has been totally redone. It's a spiffy beige decor accented with wood trim. There are two menus, both with English translations. All the usual suspects are there, along with some rarer dishes such as crabs steamed with rice in a bamboo rack, and several kinds of whole stuffed chickens that must be ordered a day in advance. I ordered a stewed beef casserole. Every place has a chicken version of this, but I've never seen it with beef. First came an egg drop soup, free. This is high on my list of what not to order, but if it's as good as this version I'll change my mind. Then the casserole. It had, not some tough stew beef, but a real steak (not a very good steak, not something that will have Mr. Peter Luger running to get the recipe, but nonetheless something tender enough that you could cut it with a spoon, cooked medium-rare), sliced, floating with onions and mushrooms in a rich garlicky broth. It was very very good.
Three different managers came over as I ate to ask if I liked the food. They seemed nervous. It is, after all, opening week. They needn't have worried. I liked it just fine. I'll be back.
Amazing 66 Restaurant
66 Mott St near Canal