Famed dumpling spot hits Lincoln Square
Just because something's big in Asia doesn't necessarily mean it'll blow up when it hits the States, though it probably will given our hatred of exercise and love of Doritos. For a popular-in-Asia resto looking for Xtreme stateside fame, hit Din Tai Fung.
Brought to the NW with help from a former techie who grew up eating DTF (ha!) in Taiwan, the second American outpost of the famed Pacific Rim dumpling house (the Hong Kong spot has a Michelin star) boasts a glass-walled, second-story eat space full of polished wood and hanging lanterns, and decked with windows into its kitchen where an army of cooks prep a steamed food pocket-heavy menu presented Scantron-style, but not Scan-Tron-style since the food's not that light. This DTF is the first with a full bar, stocking the usual brews (Manny's, Ichiban), sake, and specialty 'tails like the iced tea/ Gentleman Jack/hot ginger syrup Zen Tea, and the ginger vodka/ muddled oranges/ lemon/cranberry juice Taipei 101, in which you learn that it's actually just Taiwan.Their signature hand-formed steamed dumpling options range from traditional Green Vegetable and Pork numbers, to Shrimp and Pork Shaomai, to Hum Bao-style steamed buns filled with mashed red beans or juicy pork, also a line of comfortable couture sweatpants for even fatter women.
If you don't want dumplings, shame on you, but they've got wontons (Shrimp and Pork w/ spicy sauce), Fried Rice (with shrimp, chicken, pork, etc.) and Noodle dishes like the Sauced w/ shredded pork & pickled mustard greens, and the Shanghai Rice Cake w/ Shrimp, which is much bigger in Asia, mostly because they aren't.