after dinner sneeze

a lot of g says, t says

Posts Tagged ‘Han Dynasty

Pardon Our Absence …

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t says:  Yes, yes, it’s been very-nearly-forever since our last legitimate post.  We’re sorry!  The holidays have left us with very little time.  And with those little times that we have had, we’ve spent dining on already-proven-delicious foods (if you have limited time, why risk a bad meal?)  For example:

Han Dynasty is still blowing us away.  Lately, we’re digging the double-cooked fish (new to us!) as well as oldie-but-goodies, like Cold Sesame Noodles, Dan Dan Noodles, the fish soup (whatever it’s called), Cumin Lamb, Eggplant in Garlic Sauce …

Sotto keeps me coming back with their Matriciana and BYO policy – just the hug you need when it’s cold, windy, and rainy outside …

Talula’s Garden’s December menu rocked our socks with some delightful sweetbreads and cheese and lamb belly and dessert and everything …  We also used it as an opportunity to try out a wine we’ve been cellaring for some time:

it tasted like ... sea salt ...

it tasted like … sea salt … kinda weird, but very interesting

Ekta’s Laamb Saag, Masalader Chola, Vegetable Samosa … we love you!

Indian ....

Indian attack!

So, all in all, there’s a lot of old news here … we’ll hit up some new places in the new year … we promise!

Written by afterdinnersneeze

29 December 2012 at 6:50pm

best. news. ever.

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t says:  So, after our “best. mail. ever.” post, I have often wondered what would come along and be even awesomer than having a Han Dynasty closer to my workplace … and now I have it: FedNuts moving closer to me.  It’s on like Donkey Kong.

a says:  You lucky ______s …

Written by afterdinnersneeze

23 May 2012 at 5:51pm

Posted in Happenings

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best. mail. ever.

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g says:  best. mail. ever.

holy. crap.

t says:  !

Written by afterdinnersneeze

4 April 2012 at 9:58am

Posted in Happenings

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Han’s Dynasty Continues

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t says:  Han Dynasty is one of our favorite places to eat, especially because it’s far more forgiving on the wallet than the restaurants we typically visit.  On one hand, it’s just Chinese food … but on the other, it’s no ordinary General Tso’s chicken.  At the suggestion of smn, I threw together a Sunday night dinner with some peeps.  In the end, it turned out that all of the attendees were adsz cast members: smn, dz, k, cm, n, g and me.  a and v also dropped by a little later on (they picked up some food for takeout) – so it was quite an adsz extravaganza!

November 2011, Sunday Dinner, Party of 7.  After taking our seats (no waiting!  yay!), we were faced with our first decision of the evening: EtOH or no?  In the good ‘ol days, this would be a stupid question, as Han Dynasty was BYO.  But long gone is the era of carefree wine consumption as Han has started enforcing a $10 wine corkage fee ($1 per beer, $2 per large format beer).  Boooo!  Although $10 is incredibly reasonable, I guess the thought of a few extra dollars dissuaded us.  Fortunately, cm, k, g, and I had a glass of wine before dinner, so we were content, and I think that the majority were anticipating a spicy meal which would be dangerous if wine was the primary liquid used to attempt to cleanse the palate.  n gets a special shout-out for thinking of bringing a bottle of white to share – but she got to take it home to save for next time!

The next big challenge was figuring out what to eat.  We initially contemplated the $20 “tasting” that we had done in the past.  Basically, you pay a certain amount per head, and food just keeps coming out of the kitchen until you cry uncle.  It’s a superb deal.  That said, we had a vegetarian and a pescapoultritarian at the table, and the last time we did the tasting, very few veggie-friendly dishes came out despite our request.  cm then decided to put himself in my hands, trusting that as the token Asian person at the table (or at least – “the Asian closest to China”), I’d be able to pick out the “good dishes”.  That was a lot of pressure – so I called in a consult – our actually-Chinese friend who has had many-a-Han dinners in the past.  Armed with his recommendations, I placed our order and let the food fly.

Beginners: Dan Dan Noodles, Cold Sesame Noodles, Spicy Crispy Cucumber, Dumplings in Chili Oil
Meats:  Black Bean Sauce Fish, Double Cooked Chicken, Cumin Lamb, Tofu in Garlic Sauce (no, not really a “meat” – but close!)
Veggies: Eggplant in Garlic Sauce, Bok Choy and Mushrooms

Here are the highs and the lows:

Victory!:  Dan Dan Noodles (of PW fame), Cold Sesame Noodles (smn said they were “the best sesame noodles she’s ever had”), the Eggplant in Garlic Sauce (k, who doesn’t even like eggplant that much still liked these!), and the Black Bean Style Fish (my pick for the best protein of the evening!).  Special recognition should be given to the Spicy Crispy Cucumber appetizer – it tasted exactly like spicy, crispy, cucumbers (surprised?).  k, who normally doesn’t do spice, found that she “couldn’t help herself with the spicy cucumbers – they were too spicy for her, but so good she wanted to eat more and more”.

Defeat!:  Cumin Lamb (WAY too many chiles, and the lamb was sparse and overcooked and really tasted like nothing more than cumin).

Alrightie-then.  So there was a lot of delicious food and really only one regret.  And even though now there’s a corkage fee, I think we’re still happy to have Han Dynasty be the adsz pick for best cheap eats; our dinner was $20pp INCLUDING tax and tip!  And if you want some wine, just bring in some magnums or something (it’s just one bottle, right?) – problem solved!

Written by afterdinnersneeze

17 November 2011 at 9:53pm

Han Dynasty’s Got Some Balls

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t says: I’m sorry for the crass, unsophisticated humor, but I just had to go there.  I mean, you should have seen the size of their meatballs!  Wait – what meatballs?  Ok … let’s rewind …

g planned a dessert gathering of very diverse people for an evening celebration, figuring that a few would be able to come for dinner beforehand.  A few turned into a party of 13 or so.  Yikes.  What restaurant would do a party of 13 on a Saturday night?  Well … let’s just say that are a lot of restaurants that would not do a party of 13 on a Saturday night … looking at you Melograno, GTC, Mercato, etc. (don’t worry – we still love you, even if you’ve hurt us so *sheds a single tear*).  Then a friend of ours sent out an email invite to celebrate Chinese New Year (the following weekend) at Han Dynasty … and then we got to thinking … if our guest list and his guest list didn’t overlap, then maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad thing if maybe we borrowed his idea, right? … rriigghhtt?

Well, right or wrong, we did (g and I had been wanting to go for a long time and couldn’t make it to the Chinese New Year celebration, so we figured we owed it to ourselves to go … “for the sake of the blog!”).

1/2011, Saturday Dinner, Party of 13.  Han Dynasty does things in a very cool way for large parties.  There’s no lame, super-limited menu here.  Instead, you tell them the number of people, the price that you want to pay per head, your dietary restrictions, and then let them do the rest.  It was awesome.  We went in at $20 per person and were absolutely stuffed!

As soon as we were ready, there an unending flurry of food hit the table.  We tried to hear the descriptions of when they hit the table, but failed miserably (it’s pretty loud in there!).  As a result, there’s no way I could try to describe the dishes for you here.  There was pork (several kinds) and fish and noodles and duck and [some] veggies.  I suspect that if we kept on eating, they would have kept on bringing.  And they were all quite tasty!  I didn’t have a single thing that I wouldn’t try again – so they definitely know how to please my palate.

But there was one that stood out.  The meatballs …

They brought out this plate of humungous meatballs that were stacked on top of each other.  They stared down the other plates surrounding them.  And the weird thing was that they had an eerie Jello-esque jiggle to them (I suspect a large proportion of the mix is made of tofu).  At this point, our party of 13 had had a reasonable amount of wine (Han is BYO … another super-awesome feature when doing something with a large party), so the question was no longer whether anyone was going to make a comment, rather, who was going to make a comment – leave it to one of g’s NYC girls to step up and own it.  But you know what … peculiar jiggle aside … they, too, were actually pretty tasty!  As a matter of fact, it was the only dish I asked to be wrapped up to be taken home (I suspect their appearance may have dissuaded people from trying them, so we had leftovers).  But alas!  I left it at the restaurant!  Darn!

As far as best dish?  You know – I don’t know which one tasted the best.  There was one with duck I kept going back for, and I heard raves about a pork belly one.  I think g was very fond of the noodle dishes (she’s a noodle fan from way back in the day).  I guess we’ll just have to go back and take copious notes next time …

Han Dynasty drawbacks: Their level of spice is definitely on the higher end.  Nothing was intolerable (I kind of liked it), but for the lightweights in our party, we should have requested super-mild or something (we asked for it mild and one of the dishes still had me reaching for water).  Those comfortable with Asian spice will feel at home here; if you want to sweat while you eat (a la my grandfather), I’m sure that can be arranged.  The second downer was that the table was right next to a pole which made fitting 13 people a little hard.  Go for 12 – it’d be a bit more comfortable.

Summary: If we had another party of people to take out, I just don’t think you can beat the combo of price, BYO, taste, and casual atmosphere of Han Dynasty.  Oh, and it’s tasty enough so that even real Chinese won’t care if it’s “authentic” or not.

Written by afterdinnersneeze

23 February 2011 at 11:09pm