Sichuan restaurants in NYC: New spots include Birds of a Feather, Hwa Yuan Szechuan

Birds of a Feather, Hwa Yuan Szechuan and Guan Fu Sichuan are hot right now.

Fans of dan dan noodles and mapo tofu are in luck. Sichuan — the regional Chinese cuisine characterized by bold, spicy flavors — is having a moment in New York City. Here’s a look at recent openings specializing in Sichuan.

Birds of a Feather

With their second restaurant, the husband-and-wife team behind midtown’s Café China, Xian Zhang and Yiming Wang, have created a modern Sichuan spot that draws inspiration from traditional dishes. For instance, instead of braised eggplant in garlic sauce, there’s fried eggplant accordions. “[Sichuan] is becoming more of an international cuisine,” Zhang said. “Our idea is to call attention to that fact and also put our own spin on it.” (191 Grand St., Brooklyn, birdsofafeatherny.com)

Hwa Yuan Szechuan

Storied restaurant Hwa Yuan Szechuan, which reopened in October in Chinatown after closing in the 1980s, is trying a few new things. Along with Peking duck and his father’s famous sesame noodles, owner Chen Lieh Tang is offering cross-cultural dishes like tuna tartare. His ultimate goal is to bring back tradition, but he also understands the demand for a broader definition of Sichuan cuisine. “We use a lot of French ideas, Italian ideas,” Tang said. “I call it global food.” (42 E. Broadway, Manhattan, hwayuannyc.com)

Guan Fu Sichuan

Over in Flushing, Guan Fu earned a rave review from Pete Wells recently for showing just how varied Sichuan cuisine can be. The sophisticated spot goes beyond just spice, serving dishes like Sichuan-boiled fish with pickled vegetables, evoking the cooking of China’s dynastic era. (One Fulton Square, 39-16 Prince St., Queens, guanfuny.com)

Han Dynasty

With East Village and Upper West Side locations, the Philadelphia import has expanded again, opening its third New York City spot this month in the City Point complex. Its menu displays the diversity of Sichuan fare, going beyond peppercorns with dishes like stir-fried lamb in hoisin and oyster sauces with onion and scallions. (1 DeKalb Ave., Brooklyn, handynasty.net)

Szechuan Mountain House

The flashy Flushing restaurant has a new outpost in the East Village that has been drawing lines for classic Sichuan dishes like mapo tofu and kung pao chicken, as well as house specials like stir-fried chicken gizzards with cattle throat and fish maw and braised frog in hot chili oil. (23 St. Marks Place, Manhattan, szechuanmountainhouse.com)

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