2/06/2013 03:29:00 PM

5 Nouveau Chinese New Year's Feasts In SF and Behind

Gung Ho Fat Choy! The Year of the Snake is upon us and after watching the giant parade through Chinatown (happening on February 23), the second biggest way to celebrate the Chinese New Year in the Bay Area is to feast. This year, there is no shortage of Chinese restaurants dishing up the symbolism-rich celebratory feasts but here are our favorite upscale choices.

MY China: Chinese New Year official begins on February 10, but Martin Yan’s Westfield Center newcomer has already ushered in two special holiday tasting menus at this restaurant. Available now through February 26 (in addition to the regular menu), guests can opt for the Prosperity Menu ($68 for two) or more elaborate seafood-centric Wealth Menu ($88 for two). A few of the symbolic dishes are available a la carte and the restaurant is also crafting a special Stone Serpent cocktail which features sparkling cider, a popular drink on the Chinese banquet scene.


In addition, Martin Yan and chef Tony Wu will be hosting a cooking demo at the Bloomingdale’s Test Kitchen at the Westfield Center on February 10 from 2-4PM, and Yan and will also be holding court in the restaurant during dinner service on February 12 and February 26 (845 Market St, 4th floor, 415-850-3001).

Hakkasan: From February 9-23, the splashy Downtown newcomer will be supplementing its regular offerings with a special New Year’s a la carte menu featuring lots of traditional small plates that represent wishes for prosperity and health. Specials include stir-fried quail with mushrooms in guilin chili sauce, double braised abalone with fish maw, steamed pomfret in homemade soya sauce and a classic dim sum platter (1 Kearny St; 415-829-8148).

E&O Asian Kitchen: This revamped Downtown restaurant and bar will be getting into the holiday spirit with special a la carte dishes (such as braised pork belly sticky rice and long life noodles with snake beans and hon shimeji mushrooms) and celebratory snake-themed cocktails (The Bitter Bite and The Serpent’s Tail) from February 10- 23. Those seeking even more drama should swing by on February 23 for additional drink specials and a special performance of the traditional Lion Dances (341 Sutter St; 415-693-0303).

Out the Door Bush: As a nod to his Chinese heritage and the Vietnamese celebration of Tet, Charles Phan’s Upper Fillmore neighborhood Vietnamese joint will be supplementing its regular menu over the Chinese New Year’s weekend (February 9-11) with several New Year’s-inspired a la carte specials such as salt and pepper Dungeness crab (half or whole), crispy fragrant half duck, soy-braised pork belly with clam-shell buns and Banh Tet, a popular Vietnamese Lunar Year delicacies comprised of pan-fried sticky rice filled with mung beans and pork belly (2232 Bush St; 415- 923-9575).

Mustard’s Grill: Up in Napa Valley, Cindy Pawclyn will usher in the Year of the Snake with a special one-day New Year’s Day a la carte menu on February 10. Available at both lunch and dinner, the specials include sweet and sour duck soup, steamed brisket with cinnamon roasted rice and grilled chili red snapper with stir-fried long beans and fermented black bean sauce. The restaurant is also offering wine pairings for the holiday dishes (799 St. Helena Highway, Napa, 707-944-2424).

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