New York – Lower East Side
79 Clinton St. (bet. Rivington and Delancey Sts.)
New York, NY 10002
Yunnan Kitchen is Chinese, but captured through the lens of a Lower East Side mind-set. The setting is stylish and contemporary; the ingredients are exemplary; the dishes are small rather than family-style; there's a smart selection of beer and wine; and there's plenty to please both carnivores and vegetarians. Mushrooms are a strong point, given that the Yunnan province of China is known for them. Thoughtful, flavorful salads of chrysanthemum greens with sesame vinaigrette, or mint and frisée with cherry tomatoes, also set it apart. A section of the menu labeled "shao kao" offers a selection of skewered dishes, such as luscious lamb meatballs or fingerling potatoes with charred shishito peppers. From the rice and noodle category, choose fried rice with Chinese sausage (custom-made by Salumeria Biellese), mushrooms and seasonal greens.