Valentine's Day: Thoughts on restaurant dining
Holsteins: Las Vegas, NV

Lan Sheng: Michelin starred Sichuan: in Wallington, NJ

You heard me.

Update: I met some friends for a meal here. Details are here (click me).

It seems like a joke, right? I mean, having a Sichuan restaurant open in a town known more for kielbasa and Zywiec than tripe and Tsingtao is enough to make you scratch your head. But a restaurant whose sister in NYC has a Michelin star? In Wallington?!?

I won't get too hung up on the Michelin star aspect, as this particular location certainly hasn't won any awards. But who cares? Just look at the menu!

Lan sheng menu1

Lan sheng menu2

Len sheng menu3

A reader brought this place to my attention (the horrible photos are from this well-meaning reader). Neither he nor I have had a chance to give it a try, but my interest is certainly piqued.

While many standard issue Americanized Chinese places will refer to themselves as "Sichuan" or "Hunan," the claim is just about always, like, 99.999999% of the time, pure nonsense. They serve the standard Americanized crap that you see at every other restaurant in every other town in the country.

But when I see dishes that include tripe, and duck tongue, and sea cucumber, and pig feet, and conch, and edamame...wait, edamame? OK so ignore that one, and tea smoked duck, and rabbit, well, my friends, we could have a gem of an authentic Sichuan restaurant, tucked conveniently off of route 21 in lower Bergen County.

Now somebody get off their ass and get down there for lunch today and come back with a full report.

Lan Sheng : 209 Paterson Ave : Wallington, NJ : 973.773.7100 and 60 W. 39th Street : New York, NY