In this week’s magazine, high-end restaurants and the doings of midtown Michelin hopefuls take a back seat to the wonders of Chinatown — and the pleasures, spread out across the city, of the Year of the Pig.
• Adam Platt visits two Chelsea restaurants, Varietal and Klee Brasserie. The first isn’t his kind of place, filled as it is with “off-duty chefs, persnickety connoisseurs eating their dinners in tiny bites, and wine snobs in their dark undertaker suits.” Klee is homier, but the food’s not as good.
• We pulled out all the stops in creating this megaguide to Manhattan Chinatown — “the Enduring Micro-City.” It includes a guided tour of the neighborhood with Zak Pelaccio, an authoritative best eats from Chinese-food guru Ed Schoenfeld, a visual guide to the neighborhood's exotic produce, and — it doesn’t get any more Chinatown than this — a lesson in cooking “garbage fish” from Mary Redding of Mary’s Fish Camp.
• Rob and Robin look at one of the purest and simplest of all seasonal foods: new-harvest olive oil. They present its perfect use with a recipe for orecchiette with horseradish and Parmesan.
• R&R; also highlight three Chinese restaurants outside of C-town where you can truly “pig out” in celebration of the new year.
• And in the other Short List, one play shown with the added benefit of cocktails, and two with lunch.