NYC’s Best New Restaurants and Bars of 2013 (So Far)

It's shaping up to be another banner year in New York dining—don't fall behind.

sichuan

Photo: Erin Mosbaugh

Lao Cheng Du (Prince Noodle House)

Neighborhood: Flushing, Queens
Address and phone: 37-17 Prince Street (718-886-5595)

I have often dreamt of fiery, home-cooked Sichuan food, but that is a far cry from any reality I have known. When I sat down at Flushing’s Lao Cheng Du (aka Prince Noodle House), and the waitress brought me unfussy bowls of wobbly mung bean jello salad, mapo tofu, and spicy dan-dan noodles, I felt like my dream had finally been realized. I’ve been to the old Manhattan standbys like Legend and Sichuan Gourmet, and can say that—at least in NYC—this is Sichuan food at its best. The mapo tofu at Lao Cheng Du is glorious: medium-sized cubes of silky tofu are perfectly seasoned with chili oil, ground pork, and a healthy dose of ground pepper. The chili doesn’t assault your palate indiscriminately; it is more of a slow, pleasant build leaving you craving more, and more, and more. The restaurant receives bonus points for having a dumbwaiter. — Erin Mosbaugh

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