Riding the V Line: The Life Aquatic at Ping’s

We're riding the B and V from Coney Island all the way to Forest Hills, jumping off frequently to rave about our favorite restaurants along the way.

This far along the V, you can tempt death crossing Queens Boulevard, wander for blocks alone on the sidewalk, and pop into several houseware stores and travel agencies. Or you could go to Pings, a citadel of classic Cantonese food that makes even doubters delight and shout, This is why I love Queens!

Pings, a sister to the better-known Chinatown location, has three separate purposes under one oversize sign and space-age roof. The regular Cantonese menu specializes in seafood, many specimens of which float expectantly in various tanks around the restaurant. The weekend dim-sum service packs in nearly all Chinese customers to enjoy some of the citys most delicate and cunning small plates, from textbook taro cake and shrimp siu mai to freshly killed fish from the aquarium.

Best, and rarest, of all are the banquets. Banquet cookery is a completely different mode of operation in a Chinese restaurant, and Pings is famous for its elaborate seafood dinners. You can hope to one day be invited, or you can stop in to try a whole flounder or halibut, prefaced with some soy and sesame cuttlefish.

If you cross Queens Boulevard and live Ping's awaits.Photo: Melissa Hom