When you ask your text chain if anyone wants to go out tonight, you usually get one yes, two maybes (a.k.a. nos), and no response from everyone else. But on the rare occasion that everyone wants to join, go to Congee Village. This two-story Chinese spot just off Delancey, which has a tree growing in the middle of it and bamboo everywhere, is filled with big tables. Almost everything on the very long menu is served family-style, so you should share things like the salt and pepper shrimp, congee with salted chicken, and chicken and yam that’s served on a sizzling hot plate.
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Russ & Daughters Cafe
Russ & Daughters has finally expanded, after 100 years in business. Now you can sit down in a comfy booth while you enjoy your lox, and it’s glorious.
Wildair is a casual wine bar on the Lower East Side, attached to the acclaimed tasting menu restaurant Contra.
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Red Paper Clip
Red Paper Clip serves a very good six-course tasting menu for $95 in a bare West Village space.
Chinese Tuxedo is a beautiful and fun Chinatown restaurant, but the food isn't that memorable.
Suggested by our writers
Shu Jiao Fu Zhou Cuisine
Skip nearby Vanessa's Dumplings in favor of the superior Shu Jiao Fu Zhou when you're looking for excellent, cheap Chinatown dumplings.
A Philadelphia import with a big following has now arrived in the East Village. Overlook the dumpy interior and shoddy service and put your face into a bowl of Dan Dan Noodles.
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