When you ask your text chain if anyone wants to go out tonight, you usually get one yes, two maybes (a.k.a. nos), and no response from everyone else. But on the rare occasion that everyone wants to join, go to Congee Village. This two-story Chinese spot just off Delancey, which has a tree growing in the middle of it and bamboo everywhere, is filled with big tables. Almost everything on the very long menu is served family-style, so you should share things like the salt and pepper shrimp, congee with salted chicken, and chicken and yam that’s served on a sizzling hot plate.
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Pig And Khao
Pig And Khao is a Thai/Filipino restaurant on the LES that serves great food and feels like a party.
Clinton St. Baking Company
During brunch hours, it’s not uncommon for people outside Clinton Street Baking Company to wait two hours for the pure, fluffy cakes of ecstasy that this place is known for. We won’t join them…but we can’t blame them either.
Public is a hotel on the LES where you can go and pretend you’re in the Meatpacking District. There’s both a nice lobby bar and a busy rooftop there.
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Macao Trading Co.
"Look for the red lantern," instructs the Macao Trading Co. website. This is how you will know you have reached your destination - the Portuguese colony of Macao circa 1952, "a fugitive's heaven from which there is no turning back." Awesome. We're apparently having dinner at Universal Studios tonight.
Purple Yam serves Filipino food in a casual space with a nice backyard. Use it for a group dinner in Ditmas Park.
Tri Dim Shanghai
For casual Chinese food on the Upper East Side, Tri Dim Shanghai is probably your best option. Stop by and eat some soup dumplings.
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Shu Jiao Fu Zhou Cuisine
Skip nearby Vanessa's Dumplings in favor of the superior Shu Jiao Fu Zhou when you're looking for excellent, cheap Chinatown dumplings.
Cafe China serves some of our favorite Sichuan food in Manhattan, and is a great group dinner spot in Midtown.
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