China White Is Open!; EDP’s Big Giveaway:Free Wine; New and Classic BYOBs
China White Debuts in Purchase!
China White’s modernist evocation of Chinese lanterns
Okay, I admit it – they had me at the heroin reference. Could there be a more provocative tweak of diners in Westchester—especially in Purchase? Cb5, the team behind Greenwich’s delightfully naughty tequila bar, Lolita Cocina and Tequila Bar (where denizens emerge with biker-esque temporary tattoos) has opened a chic Chinese under the widely-used street name for an illegal drug. Yowza.
China White revamped The Creek’s former space (578 Anderson Hill Rd, Purchase 914-437-9700; chinawhiteusa.com) with cool gray and shell tones and wall-mounted, gold-painted ceramic cups to allude to China White’s much touted cage-free chicken eggs. Additionally, its menu brags organic chicken, heritage pork, grass-fed beef, organic silken tofu, wild-caught fish and seafood, free-range duck, and organic vegetables. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves here; it’ll be a while before visitors even think of food. China White hits with an eyeful that includes white jumpsuited waiters, whose perfect tattoos are gleamingly highlighted, and whose ironic eyewear flash in the glare. Given the blinding white unis, I worry about China White’s laundry bills. If you’ve managed to avoid snowblindness, cast your eyes up to the sculptural profusion of lanterns on the ceiling—looks a bit like Jody Pennette went nuts in Ikea.
Celebrating Chinese-American in style: crispy noodles, duck sauce, mustard and soy
As at any Golden Dragon in Anywhere, USA, meals at China White start with addictive deep-fried noodles and orangey duck sauce, soy, and mustard—but you’ve never seen the quartet as attractively plated as here. You’ll find twists on old favorites, like General Tso’s fish and an absolutely stunning egg drop soup. You’ll also find Momofuku Noodle Bar-inspired steamed pork buns (made with organic wheat), one option folded around yummy char siu bbq pork, crisp daikon, and cucumbers—and we loved minty, crunchy vegetable and mango summer rolls with spicy peanut sauce, one of China White’s many excellent veggie options.
Just to be clear, EDP’s First Tastes are not critical reviews—we dropped by the restaurant only once, and before it had officially opened (in fact, China White had not yet received its liquor license). As might be expected, there were a few bumps, like an order of fried pork dumplings that was surprisingly blah. We did appreciate that each crescent was carefully hand-folded, though.
Tangerine beef with baby bok choy at China White
The killer main of the night was tangerine beef, a perfect case version of that old-school standard, orange beef. In China White’s version, tender slivers of beef were so heavily “velveted” that they were practically candied, while their richness was countered by fragrant shards of citrus peel and a scattering of whole dried chilis. Equally fragrant was a basil-scented dish of shrimp chow fun, its fat noodles thick and juicy and laced with perfectly cooked and snappy shrimp. Sadly, the most off-kilter dish came near the end of the night; it was a dish of chocolate dumplings with vanilla ice cream sporting the heartbreak of giant ice crystals.
But, like all cb5 restaurants (especially Lolita Cocina), this restaurant kills it on the outtro. China White ends your visit with free temporary tattoos (including the Chinese characters for Truth and Courage) and a cloud of chai-flavored cotton candy. I don’t care how many slip-ups you may have just encountered, free cotton candy will win your heart every time. (It helps that it’s cardamom-flavored and absolutely delicious.) And then (just to nail it), China White hands you a giant black Magic 8 Ball toy—innocently claiming that it’s a twist on the expected Chinese-American fortune cookie. But, given these jokesters, I wonder whether it’s another puckish druggie joke? Hmm…
Oh, yes folks: we’ve already given away some very cool swag to three lucky winners here at EDP—and as we get closer to the Westchester Magazine Wine and Food Weekend at the Ritz-Carlton, Westchester, the prizes only get better. This week, to celebrate the wine aspect of our upcoming June 18 and 19 event, we’re giving away a great basket from Grapes The Wine Company. And speaking of wine—have you heard?—we’ve snagged Xaviars Restaurant Group’s wine director, William Rattner, as the event’s consulting sommelier. You might recognize Billy from your visits to Kelly’s restaurants; he’s the extremely charming (and highly skilled) sommelier guiding diners through their meals.
And now, for an oh, so guzzleable basket of Westchester Magazine Wine & Food Weekend swag from Grapes the Wine Company, tell me what murderous Italian baroque artist painted this sexy/hot portrait of Bacchus, the Roman god of wine, in about 1595. Hint: the name of the artist is all over the Wikipedia link, and zero points will be deducted for inaccurate spelling, so: No Brainer Alert! (PS, employees of Westchester Magazine and its affiliates are not eligible for prizes. Sorry, guys.
Okay, let’s just say for a second that you’re tight with a dollar. You keep track of your twos and fews, triple-scan every restaurant receipt, and never round tips up to the whole dollar. Here’s a way for stingy folks to dine out on the town, while dodging the customary restaurant markups on wine (and the punitive “corkage fee” that keeps them from bringing their own).
BYO Tuesdays at España Wine & Tapas Bar
From the site, “Every Tuesday we waive our corkage fee and encourage our guests to bring their own wine to pair with Chef Aznar’s Tapas & Paellas.”
Your Wine Wednesday at PLATES
From the site: “No corkage fee for bringing your own wine on Wednesday evenings. An opportunity for collectors (or anyone, really!) to uncork that special bottle in a great room with a superb meal. PLATES will decant, handle, pour, and accommodate the needs of the vintage!” Be warned: with all this talk of special vintages, I wouldn’t try tapping a box propped on the edge of the table.
And don’t forget these guys, always proudly BYOB (and, coincidentally, excellent):