when we had a house in the suburbs, we’d have everyone over for xmas eve and xmas day. Now that we live in nyc in a smaller space, we’ve started going our for xmas eve and having guests on xmas day. Last year we tried hwa yuan, the duck was great but the other dishes, including the famous sesame noodles, were just ok and I thought not close the level of cooking we found at the original restaurant.
So what are some alternatives? The kids live in brooklyn, so somewhere between there and the UES. I’d be happy to head to…I dunno, taiwan pork chop house, but pretty sure my marriage wouldn’t survive to xmas day, so has to be a nice room…at least as nice as hwa yuan. haven’t been to peking duck house since I retired, the duck was reliable but the other dishes not so much. maybe one of the dim sum houses that serve a multicourse meal at night? golden unicorn comes to mind. or how was the room at uncle lou’s?
I’d venture that Jiang Nan was a nicer room and atmosphere than Uncle Lou’s, with attention to presentation and drinks. (The duck was very good, some of the other dishes at neighboring tables looked like better choices than ours fwiw.)
But if you want a bigger room, maybe Uncle Lou’s – or Ping’s?
Further uptown (to varying degrees) – Pinch (also for duck), Hao Noodle, Cafe China (new digs), and Blue Willow in midtown all have nice rooms and solid food.
Haven’t been, but have heard good things.
FWIW, my “kids” really enjoyed Pinch when we went pre-pandemic for Mother’s Day. As I recall, the food was v. good, and the cocktails really floated their boats. We had the duck and some other things, and had a really fun meal.
Uncle Lou doesn’t look like much. The food varies from very good to blah.
I like Pinch a lot. Very good Peking Duck but no table side carving if that’s important. The pancakes are lovely and tissue thin. The dumplings are also very good. Space is on the small side but very nicely done. Went twice this summer for large group dinners. There is a minimum per person spend for a large group.