Posts Tagged ‘Chinese New Year’

Dine and Shop Til You Drop to Welcome Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year is one of the most celebrated holidays around the world, a time when families gather and celebrate. This year is the Year of the Rat, signifying diligence and thriftiness. Shops and restaurants have gone all out to ensure that you have a lucky and fortune-filled start to the New Year with welcoming events and special menus adding foods symbolizing good fortune.

The Year of the Rat celebrates the return of spring. It’s a festival of unity, a way for friends and family to come together to enjoy traditions that will bring good fortune for the coming year. 2020 celebrates the quick-witted rat as we breathe some optimism into the days ahead. Unlike one-night New Year’s celebrations, Chinese New Year is celebrated for two weeks through February 11 (or even longer in some places) so you have plenty of time to enjoy.

Traditional red lanterns, dragons, wishing trees, lion dances, and, of course, food, mark this important holiday.

Stuff yourself with auspicious foods rich with symbolic meaning to attract good fortune in the coming year.

The sexiest celebrations in New York City happen at Hakkasan. Kicked off by a festive and traditional lion dance on the first evening, the two weeks of the Chinese New Year are filled with special dinners and drinks. For 2020, there is a $98 prix fixe menu (for a minimum of two guests) featuring ingredients traditionally thought to bring luck and good fortune. Dishes have been selected for the cultural significance of their ingredients and their ability to portend good fortune.

Hakkasan - Golden Treasure Pocket

Highlights of the menu include golden treasure pockets with abalone and wild mushrooms, a delicately fried dumpling decorated with gold leaf. The shape of the dumpling resembles a money bag which symbolizes the arrival of wealth in the New Year, and the color gold represents riches. Scallops with taro mousseline and brown butter black bean sauce feature Maine king scallops, a prized ingredient denoting new opportunities and successes on the horizon. Also on the menu are yu sheng salad, a fish salad with cured Scottish salmon and plum sauce, portending a bountiful year ahead; and baked salt crusted chicken, a modern spin on a chicken dish from the Ming dynasty that symbolizes luck, playing off the pronunciation of the word chicken in Chinese which sounds like luck.

Yu Sheng Salad

Hakkasan will also offer a signature cocktail Cheng Zi made with Diplomático Mantuano rum, chili-infused Velvet Falernum, mandarin and chocolate sherbet. The mandarin is a lucky ingredient representing prosperity and fortune, making the cocktail the perfect complement to a festive Lunar New Year meal. Oranges are traditionally given during the New Year to symbolize good luck, happiness and abundance.

A sweet finish with more lucky oranges is the indulgent Lucky Jie, a dessert with salted caramel ganache, mandarin, chili and cocoa that is presented as a Chinese knot to signify good fortune. Chinese knotting is an intricate and historic art form where fabrics are woven into a varying of shapes denoting blessings and wishes for the year ahead.

Throughout Lunar New Year, interiors of Hakkasan locations will be adorned with red wishing ribbons featuring the lucky Chinese knot. The red color of the wishing ribbons symbolizes joy and good luck, creating an auspicious environment for guests to dine in. Guests are additionally invited to write their wishes for the year ahead on the ribbons to be hung on the restaurant’s wooden latticing.

Five other Asian restaurants (and bars) in New York celebrate with special menus:

Little Alley is translated from the Chinese word long tang, the narrow, interconnected alleyways unique to Shanghai that form traditional neighborhoods that co-exist with today’s modern styles. The alleys have long been redolent with aromas of delicious foods, reminding neighbors that everything will be fine as long as you are home.

Little Alley

For Chinese New York, the Murray Hill-based restaurant has a seafood-forward menu with steamed lobster with glass noodles, lobster with ginger scallion, spicy crab, salted duck egg crab, dry-wok prawns, steamed whole fish with chopped chili, blanched clams and stir-fried clams with basil.

Atoboy

At popular Atoboy in the Flatiron District, Chef Junghyun ‘JP’ Park utilizes Korean flavors and traditional Korean techniques with seasonal American ingredients to create a menu inspired by Korean banchan, small plates served with cooked rice. For Chinese New Year, both a regular and prix fixe menu are offered along with a traditional tteokguk, a Korean rice cake soup.

Chinese Tuxedo

In Chinatown, LUCKYRICE celebrates the Lunar New Year in style with an epic Cocktail Feast on January 28 at stylish Chinese Tuxedo and its “no photos,” bar Peachy’s. This historic venue once housed a Chinese theatre in the late 1800s and the theatricality continues to this day both upstairs and downstairs.

LUCKYRICE

Specially created cocktails featuring Remy Martin and delicious bites, each symbolic of the auspiciousness of the New Year, will be served. Tempting menu specials include the fried golden tuxedo money bag dumpling with chicken corn and the duck “long life” chow mein noodles with roasted duck sauce.

Goosefeather

For a quick getaway from the city, Modern-Chinese Goosefeather in Tarrytown, New York highlights Executive Chef Dale Talde’s Hudson Valley take on Hong Kong fare with noodles, Cantonese barbecue and dumplings.The name for Goosefeather is taken from an ancient Chinese proverb dating to the Tang Dynasty which embodies the idea of thoughtful gift-giving. For Chinese New Year week, Goosefeather will offer its regular menu plus specials including prosperity salad of hamachi, cucumbers, radish, pickled wood ear mushrooms, Asian pear, pomelo and golden beets with a citrus-Chinese mustard dressing; longevity noodles with minced chicken, watercress and black bean; cooked whole redfish with black vinegar; and crispy sweet rice with citrus and whipped honey.

Shoppers can participate in a Chinese tradition to celebrate the Year of the Rat

The USA Luxury Shopping Consortium has planned an array of special events and experiences for visitors to New York.

The 5th Annual Madison Avenue Lunar New Year event kicks off on February 1 with a centuries-old tradition by installing wishing trees along Madison Avenue between East 63rd and East 64st Streets. Visitors can place a ribbon with their wish on a branch at the tree on 63rd Street to receive a traditional red envelope with a gift certificate from a participating Madison Avenue store.

Celebrate Chinese New Year: Where to Dine for Good Luck and Prosperity during the Year of the Dog

The Year of the Dog celebrates the return of spring and the beginning of the Chinese New Year.  This is a festival of unity, a way for friends and family to come together to enjoy traditions that will bring good fortune for the coming year. 2018 celebrates the dog, a symbol of loyalty and honesty, as we breathe some optimism into the days ahead. Unlike one-night New Year’s celebrations, Chinese New Year is celebrated for two weeks, through March 2 so you have plenty of time to enjoy. Here are some ways you can participate in this important holiday:

The sexiest celebration in New York City happens at Hakkasan in the Theater District. Kicked off by a lion dance on the first evening, the two weeks of the Chinese New Year are filled with special dinners and drinks.  For 2018, there is a $118 prix fixe menu (for a minimum of two guests) featuring the best of Hakkasan’s modern Cantonese signature dishes. Dishes have been selected for the cultural significance of their ingredients and their ability to portend good fortune. Baked Chilean sea bass with kumquat glaze will bring prosperity as eating fish at the New Year is said to increase wealth. Similarly, oysters, traditionally symbolizing fortune and good luck, are included in Szechuan oyster with lotus root and crispy rice in mantau.  Fat choy is an ingredient that means “to grow wealth” in Chinese and is found in the abalone fried rice in bean curd wrap with Chinese sausage and shiitake mushroom.

Hakkasan’s dinner also features a special Chinese New Year cocktail, the Good Fortune, made with Grey Goose Orange and fresh blood orange ice (oranges are traditionally given during the new year to symbolize good luck, happiness and abundance); five-spice pomegranate syrup, adding red to the drink, an important color of good luck, and the pomegranates to inspire fertility; satsuma godai; lime juice; and an orange peel rosette to add a touch of floral design, signifying rebirth and luck. Toast away!

A sweet finish is provided with Hakkasan’s reimagined fortune cookie, the macartune, which has 88 (8 represents prosperity in Chinese tradition) New York-centric fortunes written by author Jay McInerney like “Your train will arrive on time and there will be a seat available” (happy) or “A new skyscraper is being built next door to your building and your view is about to disappear” (sad). The writer of “Bright Lights, Big City” and Hakkasan  Executive Pastry Chef Alexander Zecena have imagined the vanilla-flavored cooked as a riff on New York’s beloved black and white, with one half coated in chocolate and then stamped with a red chocolate seal to symbolize good luck for the New Year.

Another tradition continues at Hakkasan, too, the annual wishing tree. Guests receive a red ribbon upon arrival on which they write their wishes. Ribbons are hung around the dining areas, a custom that is said to have begun hundreds of years ago in Hong Kong. In Lam Tsuen, Hong Kong, villagers would arrive to visit the secret Wishing Trees and hang notes on the branches with wishes for the year ahead.  Today, as yesterday, guests are encouraged to write their wishes with the hope that all written down will come true. www.hakkasan.com/newyork.

Little Tong Noodle Shop in the East Village pays homage to its Yunnanese roots with its first-ever 16-Day Chinese New Year Celebration.  The mixian menu here is enhanced with a special dish at both lunch and dinner such as Day 3’s goubull 18-fold dumplings and Day 16’s Yuan Xiao, a sweet sticky rice ball soup.  Each day represents a different celebration starting with the Celebration of the Chicken on February 16 with shaokao, fire-grilled chicken wings with gingko and the Celebration of the Dog on February 17 and finishing with the Celebration of the Dragon on March 1 when red snapper and dragon fruit slaw will be served. The grand finale happens on March 2, the Lantern Festival. www.littletong.com.

2014 Chinese New Year — Celebrate in Flushing This Year

The Chinese Year of the Horse has arrived.  One of the best places to celebrate is among the Chinese community in Flushing, Queens, a quick hop from Manhattan on the 7 train.  One of the three largest Asian communities in New York City, along with Sunset Park (Brooklyn) and Chinatown (Manhattan), Flushing will embrace the Lunar New Year with their annual Lunar New Year Parade, starting at 10am on Saturday, February 8. Join the crowds enjoying dragon dancers, steel drummers and fireworks.  People line the route which begins at Union Street and 37th Ave. and ends near Main St. and 39th Ave. Viewing stands are placed at Flushing Library (Main and Kissena streets) and at the parade’s end. For more information about the parade, Queens, and other NYC neighborhoods, NYC & Co. provides information through its Neighborhood x Neighborhood site, nycgo.com/neighborhoods.

What to do after the parade:

Flushing is a lot more than LaGuardia airport.

Go shopping at The Shops at Queens Crossing, sampling dim sum and bubble tea in-between store visits.  (Main Street and 39th Ave., http://www.queenscrossing.com/index.php/shopping)

Eat, eat, eat – Joe’s Shanghai (136-21 37th Ave, http://www.joeshanghairestaurants.com/flushingstore_eng.html) still has, in my humble opinion, the best soup dumplings in New York City. The no-reservations policy guarantees a wait, but it’s usually fairly quick. Cash only. Save room for dessert at Tai Pan Bakery (37-25 Main Street, www.taipanbakeryonline.com)‎ – just point to what you might like to try and explore. Spicy & Tasty (39-07 Prince St., spicyandtasty.com/) is rated as one of the most authentic and least inexpensive restaurants in Flushing.  I suggest that you bring a large group so you can try a variety of dishes, from tame to killer Szechuan hot.

Bring the kids – the New York Hall of Science (47-01 111th St., Corona, nysci.org) ‎ is a favorite for hands-on exploration, as is the newly renovated Queens Museum of Art (www.queensmuseum.org/) with its mammoth panorama of New York City. If the weather isn’t too chilly, you can also walk through the Queens Botanical Garden (43-50 Main St., Flushing, www.queensbotanical.org/‎) for a taste of winter vegetation (and a beautiful park setting).  For more outdoor fun, Flushing Meadow Park is always a favorite with its imposing remnant of the 1964 World’s Fair, the Unisphere.

History and the Arts – The Voelker Orth Museum (14919 38th Ave., www.vomuseum.org/‎) is an 18th-century house and museum, bird sanctuary and Victorian garden.  Another landmark home, the Kingsland Homestead, depicts farmhouse life of the 18th century and also houses the Queens Historical Society (http://queenshistoricalsociety.org/).

Feel like making a “getaway” of it?  Several neighborhood hotels area available including the Hotel de Point in College Point (http://www.hoteldepoint.com/), a contemporary property with eco-friendly amenities, and The Parc Hotel in Flushing (http://www.theparchotel.com), an upscale boutique hotel which opens in March.  More choices lie closer to LaGuardia Airport.

New York City is the Place to Be to Celebrate Chinese New Year: January 21-February 5

One of the world’s largest celebrations comes to New York January 23 as we welcome the Year of the Dragon for Chinese New Year. This year is an especially auspicious one, as it is more specifically the Year of the Water Dragon, which only occurs every sixty years in the Chinese Zodiac. Our recommendations for this extravagant 15-day celebration include lots and lots of our favorite f’s: festivals, food, and of course fun.
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January Foodie Events: Celebrate Chinese New Year and Enjoy a Kids Food Festival

The beginning of the year is always a great time to kick off new foodie traditions or put into place some food-related resolutions. This year’s start of Restaurant Week coincides with two exciting culinary programs, one new and one a favorite, that are sure to please all ages.
More on January Foodie Events: Celebrate Chinese New Year and Enjoy a Kids Food Festival

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