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  Occasion: Cuisine: Area: Cost: Rating:
  Night Out Asian Midtown Moderate Great

When you get a craving for Chinese food, it is usually a ravenous need for the take-out stuff, not the fusion-laced plates of frizzle-topped fare of China Grill, Asia de Cuba, or Tao. Sure, they all do a nice job, but they dress it up too much, flourishing it with flavors from places outside China’s borders, drizzling it with neon-colored squeeze bottle sauces and often serving it with an alphabetically arranged collection of couture dipping sauces. Look, it’s all good, but it’s not the sort of Chinese that speaks to your gut. It’s not that carton of cold sesame noodles, beef with broccoli, or General Tso’s Chicken with extra sauce that you pace around your apartment for, counting the 13.5 minutes that you know it will take from the time you hang up your receiver until the downstairs buzzer rings.

For Josh Eden (Shorty Chef as some of you may know him), who was the chef de cuisine at 66, and who has worked for years for JGV and traveled extensively through China, Chinese Food was all about the stuff you yearned for from your couch. His vision was to bring Chinese take out to the dining room. What he has created at Xing—the latest restaurant from Hell’s Kitchen’s John Dempsey—is what he calls the “Greatest Hits of Chinese Take Out Menus.” Yup, all your favorites are here—Egg rolls, Moo Shu Pork, Chicken with Cashew Nuts—gussied up not with fusion twists or frilly garnishes, but with the best ingredients, and the skill of a classically trained chef with the most refined technique. There are no gummy sauces or greasy egg rolls here, and what this means is the food at Xing is a delicious anthology of guilty pleasures—dishes that you know well from your past, but have never known like this.

There were eight of us at Xing on a recent Girl’s Night Out. When I arrived with Lisa and Robin, Jamie was already sucking on a blue straw that protruded from the belly of a ceramic Buddha filled with Electric Karma—a feisty ginger-spiked vodka cocktail. While we waited for our table in the smooth wood-paneled bar, dramatically accented with kiwi colored jewel-striped plexiglass installations, we passed the Buddha around, sipping from his belly straw, blushing from the ridiculously suggestive drinking method, but not really caring because that drink was pretty damn good. Yes, Xing is the perfect spot for such silliness—whether with your best girls or a coed team ... [more, click below]

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Other restaurants in Midtown :
+ Lever House   + Aquavit   + RM   + Joseph's (formerly Citarella The Restaurant)   + Town   + Artisanal   + The Oyster Bar   + Geisha   + David Burke and Donatella Restaurant   + Riingo   + Amma   + Cafe Sabarsky   + The Stone Rose Lounge   + BLT Steak   + V, The Steakhouse-- Closed   + Bar Masa   + Cafe Gray   + The Bar Room at The Modern   + The Cafe at Aquavit   + The Cafe at Aquavit   + Bistro du Vent-- Closed   + Shaburi   + Xing   + The Modern   + Bar Americain   + Alto   + Park Blue   + Mainland-- Closed   + Nobu 57   + Quality Meats   + Dona-- CLOSED   + Daisy May's   + 7Square-- CLOSED   + Amalia   + Fireside   + Anthos   + Patroon   + BLT Market   + Toloache   + Mia Dona   + Park Avenue Summer   + Convivio   + The Oak Room by guest reviewer Julie Besonen   + At Vermilion by guest reviewer Elaine Weiner   + Lunching at Inakaya, by guest reviewer Kathleen Squires   + Marea, by Guest Reviewer Susan Kane Walkush   + Le Bernardin   + New York Central -- A Reason To Eat at the Grand Hyatt Again   + Pampano Botaneria by Dara Pollak   

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