The new version of Mission Chinese brings two new benefits: more space, and better drinks. You may still need to wait for a seat, but once inside the bi-level, banquet hall–inspired Chinatown space, you can cool your heels at the bar with a juicy sour cider from Spain or a glass of bubbles—maybe Olivier Lemasson’s Pow Blop Wizz or Robinot’s Fêtembulles, a chenin pét-nat. Once seated, you could play it safe with a bottle of Vouette et Sorbée Champagne and classics like mapo tofu or “Thrice-Cooked Bacon,” or order up the red cabbage salad, crunchy with sesame seeds and creamy with anchovy dressing, or the addictively crisp, sour green papaya and green tomato salad, with a Tinon Tokaji Szamorodni or a Nikolaihof grüner from Austria. Celebrating? Spring for the pork jowl, served in unctuous slices with “cloud bread,” chef Danny Bowien’s sourdough pita baked in a 900-degree wood-burning oven, with raw sugar, mustard and pork liver paste on the side.
April 2016 Update: Vouette et Sorbée Champagne or Robinot Fêtembulles, a chenin pét-nat, with mapo tofu? Hell yes, especially when it’s Danny Bowien’s fiery version. — Tara Q. Thomas
171 E. Broadway (btw. Rutgers & Jefferson sts.), New York, NY
Caitlin Griffith knew her future career would entail food and drink when, at the age of six, she munched an anchovy from her father’s Caesar salad thinking it as a small strip of bacon—and was more than pleasantly surprised. While enrolled in New York University’s Food Studies program, she learned the secrets of affinage in the caves of Murray’s Cheese.
This story appears in the print issue of April 2015.
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