It was Sunday night. It was dinnertime. And it was a beautiful, mild evening. So AV and I set our sights on an alfresco dinner in the park by the East River. On our way, we called Our Place, a local UES Chinese joint that AV has enjoyed in the past, and ordered takeout. A stop for drinks at 7-11 and we were on our way.
We settled on a bench and unveiled our goodies. AV had chosen General Ching's chicken, which we both assumed was going to be their version of General Tso's/General Gao's/fried chicken in sweet-and-sour sauce. But alas, it wasn't to be so. What appeared was a spicy mixture of un-fried chicken dotted with red and green peppers, peas, and oyster mushrooms. AV dutifully passed me all the oyster mushrooms-- he proclaimed that mushrooms scare him (they scare my dad, too)-- and I gobbled them up. The sauce clinging to the mushrooms wasn't too tasty, instead exhibiting a one-note "spicy" profile. I also sniped one of the peas, which was very, very starchy and gross. But once he got beyond the fact that the dish wasn't what he had originally wanted, AV seemed to enjoy this dish and packed up the uneaten portion as the next night's meal.
My choice was, of course, steamed veggie dumplings. These were the Chinese kind, with a thick, doughy exterior. But the filling was perfect-- finely shredded veggies of all kinds, in ample proportions compared to the wrapper. Taken together, they were delicious and highly satsifying. The dipping sauce wasn't as good as the typical Thai ginger sauce, but despite that I definitely enjoyed these dumplings.
For take-out, at least, if we were in a particular mood we'd go back to Our Place, which merits three Offset Spatulas. Full and happy, we dumped our trash and ate fortune cookies while watching the boats and jetskis tool around the river. And then we made our way to Emack and Bolios for ice cream. It was a good night.
1444 Third Avenue, at 82nd Street