Wok This Way: 9 of NYC's Best Chinese Restaurants
by Julie Besonen, 12/22/2010
Photo: Will Steacy
244 W. 56th St., 212-265-2226, Midtown West, Manhattan
Broadway tunes play on the sound system in deference to its Theatre District turf. Szechuan Gourmet is a pretty spot with low lighting, tasteful Chinese art and a pebbled wall. Judicious bloggers mainly agree it's the best in the area, attracting stylish Chinese couples and older Caucasian loyalists, many of whom stop in for takeout on the way home. The menu is enormous, with 160 choices; ordering is done by number. For something superhot, try #45, ma po tofu, creamy cubes of tofu blended with minced pork and tongue-scorching chilies. On the sweeter side is #114, shredded moo shu pork with pancakes, or #107, which is stir-fried beef with scallions and miso. This is the second branch of the popular original on West 39th Street, with an upper level with space to accommodate large parties.