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
This story appears in the print issue of April 2015.
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