restaurants
Macao Trading Company
311 Church Street
212 431 8750

Behind an unmarked metal grill, this Asiatic-inspired space that once was Sugar has become something really very special. Redone by Employees Only and Chanterelle veterans, to have brick walls, dark wood booths and a wood-caged balcony, this spot just keeps getting better. Helmed by chef Chewy Cereceres, a recently introduced late night rolling cart menu (12-3.30 am) blows down all the frontiers on these Cantonese small eats. Jade crab and shrimp dumplings with crunchy water chestnut are spectacular and succulent in a coriander, scallion, jalapeno, ginger sauce. A lemon eggdrop chicken soup beats out all the other chicken soups you've ever had in your entire life - with hens, cloud ear mushrooms, aged soy, sesame oil and lemon juice - a bit like a Chinesey version of your Grandma's best and avgolemono. Lo mai gai (the traditional chicken rice in a lotus leaf) is elevated to a heavenly level (the ingredients are the standard marinated chicken, Chinese sausage, bok choy and shitake so we don't know what the secret ingredient is but it's amazing.) Scallop and lobster dumplings with Maine lobster are done with a red curry cream (decidedly un-Chinese, more Thai, but sure to be attempted in replication in Chinese kitchens all across town.) Wall Street types come here looking to impress dates or close deals, partygoers roll in late night for the unusual cocktails, foodies rave about the eats on their blogs, even the most jaded of New Yorker could be seen planning birthdays here. It's where we'd choose.

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