By Suzanne Ledbetter // Fine Foodie Philanthropist
We all know that Lincoln Center is a Mecca for incredible American cuisine. So, when I was offered the chance to go on a culinary exploration of the Center’s other eats—I jumped at the opportunity! I was pleasantly surprised to find such an eclectic mix of Asian eats at five unique restaurants, all offering distinctly different dishes. From dim sum to fresh sushi and spicy garlic noodles, one thing is for sure, Lincoln Center remains the premier destination for foodies in the 209!
DOMO Japanese Sushi Grill & Bar
Our region’s well known teppanyaki hot spot, is great for both family celebrations and business lunches! They served up a hearty bento box loaded with teriyaki steak, edamame, rice, salad, a California roll, and fresh fruit. If that doesn’t sound like a feast—I don’t know what does. The teriyaki beef was tender, juicy, sweet and garlicky! But what really stood out to me was that their miso salad dressing was clearly made from scratch…with a healthy dose of fresh ginger and a hint of sweetness. It made my taste buds come alive and was absolutely delish! I’d be remiss if I didn’t give you a pro tip for dining at DOMO. You must upgrade your starch to the garlic fried rice…it’s moist, garlicky and oh so satisfying! I will definitely be back to DOMO with the entire family in tow!
New Yen Ching
Next up I headed to New Yen Ching, which specializes in Hunan, Peking and Sichuan cuisine. The open floor plan and natural light make it a welcoming space to sit down and savor a meal of piping hot plate of noodles on a cold winter’s night. The chef brought out the garlic noodles with tender sliced beef and fresh steamed broccoli. This plate was everything you could ever want on a cold winter’s day—piping hot spicy garlic noodles that warm the soul. The combination of green onion, savory garlic and chili oil had the perfect amount of heat and can be enjoyed by everyone. I had no idea how good garlic noodles could be. The New Yen Ching is a must stop for authentic fresh Chinese food with friendly service and plenty of room to get comfortable.
85ºC Bakery Café
I was so excited to try 85ºC Bakery Cafe, one of the center’s newest hot spots, and a national chain. With a vast array of Taiwanese and Chinese pastries, I was overwhelmed by the menu. I opted for an assortment of savory and sweet pastries along with one of their signature coffees. The Chocolate Pearl charmed me with its beautiful exterior—a shiny lacquered dark chocolate exterior adorned with an ornate gold leaf. But it’s what was on the inside that won me over. A combination of creamy chocolate mousse and ganache, it is a chocolate lover’s paradise. If you want to try something a little outside the box, grab a Matcha Red Bean Roll. The cake is fluffy, not too sweet with a chewy, crunchy texture from the addition of red beans. To wash it all down, I chose the iced sea salt coffee which was just the icing on the cake! A satisfyingly smooth combination of an iced Americano coffee with sea salt cream.
Sho Mi Japanese Cuisine
Ironically, as a frequent diner at Lincoln Center, I had never ventured to one of the cornerstone restaurants. Sho Mi is practically an institution in Lincoln Center…and for good reason! With a kicked back vibe and quick service, Sho Mi makes it the perfect spot to grab a quick business lunch or dinner before date night. With its vast array of fresh sushi rolls, sashimi and traditional Japanese dishes, there is something for everyone’s palate. I chose to go for a combo of comfort food and over the top sushi, because why not? The Loco Amor sushi roll is a massive behemoth of goodness. Loaded with fresh crab meat, shrimp, cucumber, spicy tuna, fried scallops and topped with crispy onion rings, this roll will satisfy all your sushi cravings. It was truly a special roll and one that I look forward to savoring on another visit. I also devoured their Spicy Pork Belly Ramen loaded with pork belly, soft boiled egg, spinach, corn and bamboo. But it’s the spicy umami broth that had me swooning. The depth of flavor was like a warm hug on this particularly chilly day. I regret not discovering Sho Mi before, but I am certainly glad I finally made it through the doors for a memorable meal.
Dynasty Seafood Restaurant
The grand finale on my Tour of Asian eats led me to Dynasty Seafood Restaurant and I am so glad it did. The hospitality, cuisine and variety of dishes have me longing to revisit with a large group, mainly because I want to try another 20 items. With an expansive dining room and communal, family style tables, there was so much to discover. From the deep-fried shrimp balls to the crab and pork dumplings, I loved every single plate that came out of the kitchen. The pork buns were at the top of my list. The dough was fresh, fluffy and filled with tender chunks of sweet BBQ pork. I also devoured the Su Mi, a dim sum dumpling dish with buttery shrimp and pork that blew me away. And if you are in the mood for something a little sweet, opt for the creamy egg tart, with a dough reminiscent of a crumbly shortbread. The egg custard is creamy and moist with the perfect hint of sweetness.