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Peter Chang Really HAS Been Found!


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#201 Hannah

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 06:48 AM

The latest word from my contact in Charlottesville: click.

Where the hell is Short Pump? :lol:

It's Richmond's version of Tyson's Corner.

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#202 johnb

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Posted 16 April 2010 - 09:39 AM

The latest word from my contact in Charlottesville: click.

Where the hell is Short Pump? :lol:

Thanks for the link Zora. That confirms what I've been hearing. BTW, Gen Lee is more than a "consultant and translator"--he's the partner and, I think, the source of much of the capital.

#203 Sundae in the Park

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Posted 20 May 2010 - 05:04 PM

Apparently if you go to Taste of China and show them the pictures from this thread to order, they will laugh and be very, very nice to you, all the while insisting that the loss of Chef hasn't changed their cooking. While I've never had the pleasure of dining at one of Chef's restaurants when he was still present, I am a big fan of China Star and the food at Taste of China is, according to the lucky husband who got to go, quite a bit better than what we can get up here. I'm looking forward to my takeout!

#204 Ilaine

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Posted 31 May 2010 - 08:59 PM

Finally tried Taste of China this past weekend, for son's UVA graduation. I would say that it's very good but not enough better than DC area Sichuan-Chengdu restaurants to merit a special trip. Very good if you are in the area already.

My father's wife, from Guangdong, helped with the ordering, but the man who took our orders spoke English well enough.

Everything was tasty. Nothing was life-altering.

But we're a tough crowd.

I'm just here for the chow.


#205 Sthitch

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Posted 31 May 2010 - 09:04 PM

for son's UVA graduation.

Congratulations to your son.

#206 Ilaine

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Posted 31 May 2010 - 09:20 PM

Congratulations to your son.

Thank you. We had seven family members at the graduation and at the restaurant, and had a wonderful time. I don't mean to suggest that the food isn't excellent. It really is good, in many ways better than China Star. Haven't been to Temptasian in a long time, so cannot compare.

The dining room is much larger and more comfortable than metro DC restaurants. It is a comfortable space, and good food.

My children have a tendency to order only very hot and spicy dishes, so I try to balance out according to traditional Chinese principles.

One item they have, which apparently is typical of Chinese menus but not often seen by me in local menus, consists of iterations on pork rib soup for the entire table. This is a mild broth to be shared among all.

As I understand it, from my study of the history of Chinese restaurants in America, Chinese people tend not to drink water at meals but instead have pork rib soup. It is very tasty and was quite welcome restoration of electrolites after hours of graduation ceremony under the hot Virginia sun.

Another thing I do to balance the hot foods is order a large plate of green vegetables for the table.

I wish I understood the fine points better but am working on it.

I'm just here for the chow.


#207 zoramargolis

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Posted 01 June 2010 - 07:35 AM

My children have a tendency to order only very hot and spicy dishes, so I try to balance out according to traditional Chinese principles.

Another thing I do to balance the hot foods is order a large plate of green vegetables for the table.

I wish I understood the fine points better but am working on it.

As a "soothing" dish to provide balance to Chang's spicy and salty dishes, I usually order crystal shrimp.

#208 johnb

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 11:49 AM

Well, according to what I am now hearing, it's all changing (or is that Changing) again. Word is it won't be Richmond. Supposedly it will be back to Atlanta, and will be an upscale place on the North side not far from Perimeter. He will have a bunch of cooks working for him and he will be more in the role of executive chef.

If true, Betty Joan will be happy. Me too, since Mrs. B's grandkids are moving to Atllanta and I expect to be spending significant time there going forward.

#209 Scott Johnston

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Posted 07 August 2010 - 01:45 PM

Ouch, we stopped by taste of China yesterday, while the PC dishes are still there, and are good, they lack the PC finess. If he does pop up in Atlanta, my suggestion would be go sooner, rather than later,
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#210 Escoffier

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Posted 09 August 2010 - 06:18 AM

I think this has now officially joined the Trite Foods list (or is that "Jumped the shark" list?). We've had a number of memorable dinners (and lunches and brunches) enjoying PC's food (as have most people here). Can we retire this until Peter is back in the DC area?

In memory of David Weber of Malvern Racing, Desmo4USA, and StephenB. Good friends gone forever.


#211 bettyjoan

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Posted 10 August 2010 - 06:32 AM

Well, according to what I am now hearing, it's all changing (or is that Changing) again. Word is it won't be Richmond. Supposedly it will be back to Atlanta, and will be an upscale place on the North side not far from Perimeter. He will have a bunch of cooks working for him and he will be more in the role of executive chef.

If true, Betty Joan will be happy. Me too, since Mrs. B's grandkids are moving to Atllanta and I expect to be spending significant time there going forward.

johnb, do let me know when you find yourself in Atlanta!

There has been much excitement about Chang's possible return to Atlanta, but I think folks are trying to manage expectations - obviously, fans are used to his flighty ways.

But, here is some buzz anyway, in case folks are interested:
http://blogs.ajc.com...alks-ice-cream/
http://www.eatitatla...02/tasty-china/

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#212 Steve Drucker

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 05:46 AM

Mr. Chang and wife are ensconced at Tasty China in Marietta GA.

Details:
http://285foodies.co...g11971#msg11971

Carpe diem.

#213 Escoffier

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 04:40 PM

Glad to hear it. Write when he comes back to DC.

In memory of David Weber of Malvern Racing, Desmo4USA, and StephenB. Good friends gone forever.


#214 mdt

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 04:55 PM

Glad to hear it. Write when he comes back to DC.

Ignore this and keep the updates coming. Never know when travels and a Peter Chang restaurant will match up.

#215 Pete

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Posted 19 August 2010 - 09:49 PM

Mr. Chang and wife are ensconced at Tasty China in Marietta GA.

Details:
http://285foodies.co...g11971#msg11971

Carpe diem.

Sweet! We will be in Atlanta at the end of September and may have time to check it out (assuming he's still there).

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#216 johnb

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 01:18 PM

I'm generally behind the curve on matters such as this, so maybe this is already known, but it has just come to my attention that Chang now has his own Wikipedia entry. Click It apparently was created by Todd Seider, a law student at UofV, who also had an article about Chang in Virginia Law Weekly back in February. I did a slight edit on the Wiki piece to include the latest info on his new place coming in a couple of months.

#217 DonRocks

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 01:24 PM

I'm generally behind the curve on matters such as this, so maybe this is already known, but it has just come to my attention that Chang now has his own Wikipedia entry. Click It apparently was created by Todd Seider, a law student at UofV, who also had an article about Chang in Virginia Law Weekly back in February. I did a slight edit on the Wiki piece to include the latest info on his new place coming in a couple of months.

"Chang has disappeared and left restaurants, inspiring a group of fans to follow his movement in Internet discussion boards, such as Chowhound."

Mildly annoying.

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#218 johnb

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 01:57 PM

"Chang has disappeared and left restaurants, inspiring a group of fans to follow his movement in Internet discussion boards, such as Chowhound."

Mildly annoying.

No sooner annoyed than fixed!

Aren't wiki's wonderful....

(for those who may be mystified by this exchange, the Wikipedia article did not mention DonRockwell.com, except for footnote 5, until a moment ago when I inserted a reference in the text--of course you can't tell that now unless you check the page's "history."

#219 Pat

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 02:12 PM

No sooner annoyed than fixed!

Aren't wiki's wonderful....

(for those who may be mystified by this exchange, the Wikipedia article did not mention DonRockwell.com until a moment ago when I inserted it--of course you can't tell that unless you check the page's "history."

Never mind. I see it now. That was weird.

#220 DonRocks

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Posted 21 August 2010 - 04:20 PM

No sooner annoyed than fixed!

Damn!

Can you edit Albert Einstein? Jack Lalanne? Paris Hilton?!

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#221 zoramargolis

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Posted 19 September 2010 - 08:47 PM

Coming back to Charlottesville?

#222 zoramargolis

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Posted 18 November 2010 - 12:16 PM

The latest news.

#223 ol_ironstomach

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 05:01 PM

Let the pundits duke it out all they want, our own NCPinDC will be reconning Chang's latest opening outside of Atlanta.

Dave Hsu
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#224 johnb

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Posted 11 December 2010 - 07:17 PM

Let the pundits duke it out all they want, our own NCPinDC will be reconning Chang's latest opening outside of Atlanta.

If true, they must have done some amazing work amazingly fast, because I went by the place about 3 weeks ago and nothing much had been done. No signs of any construction activity whatever, inside or out. It looked like it must have looked the day the Olives folks last locked it up.

#225 bettyjoan

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Posted 15 December 2010 - 01:14 PM

Looks like this weekend is "just" a Grand Opening preview-type event - from the sound of this interview, the actual restaurant won't be formally open till January/February.

http://blogs.ajc.com...enigmatic-chef/

When is everyone coming to visit? :)

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#226 ol_ironstomach

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 11:34 AM

[ Mod note: Reviews of Chang's Sandy Springs (Georgia) restaurant have been moved to the Atlanta thread, being outside of the arbitrary and capricious DRDRDR(DC): Dave's Reasonable DonRockwellian Dining Radius (for DC). Stalking comments still go here :) ]

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#227 DonRocks

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 05:50 PM

Click

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#228 Hana

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 07:41 PM

Click

Really? Has he moved from Atlanta?
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#229 johnb

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Posted 27 February 2011 - 08:01 PM

Really? Has he moved from Atlanta?

No. He will be helicoptering in to this new location from time to time, Las Vegas celebrity chef style, while spending most of his time at the place in Atlanta.

He has often said he wants to spread his version of Chinese food far and wide, and planned a series of locations to do so--he has even said (take it FWIW) that his peregrinations have been an early effort to spread his cuisine around, and it is a fact that he has typically trained the cooks where he has been and has left his techniques and recipes behind.

It will be interesting to see how the new place in C'ville works out. At least it won't suffer from him leaving, since he really won't be there in the first place. :)

#230 Hana

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Posted 28 February 2011 - 07:38 PM

No. He will be helicoptering in to this new location from time to time, Las Vegas celebrity chef style, while spending most of his time at the place in Atlanta.

He has often said he wants to spread his version of Chinese food far and wide, and planned a series of locations to do so--he has even said (take it FWIW) that his peregrinations have been an early effort to spread his cuisine around, and it is a fact that he has typically trained the cooks where he has been and has left his techniques and recipes behind.

It will be interesting to see how the new place in C'ville works out. At least it won't suffer from him leaving, since he really won't be there in the first place. :)

You have a point there!
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#231 Rieux

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 02:34 PM

I was not around when the whole Peter Chang phenomenon was happening in DC, but from reading this forum for the past several years, the New Yorker, and various other articles, I have been interested in trying Chang's food for myself.

Finally, I have the chance. My partner is at a federal training course in Charlottesville and I am going to go down there for the weekend. I have already made him swear to schedule a lunch or dinner at wherever we can try the Chang dishes.

So, here is my question. Where do we go? Is China Grill still the place with the authentic Chang experience? If so, what do we order? I am not picky, really, but don't like organ meats, tripe, tendon, etc. and can't eat shrimp. (I know, that makes me sound picky, doesn't it).

I love dumplings, spicy things like schezuan beef, ma po tofu, etc, and most anything that is not too sweet.

Also, are his restaurants still madhouses? Do we have to go early, or for lunch?

Thanks for any advice!!!!!

#232 Kibbee Nayee

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 05:12 PM

If he's there, know that dry-frying is uniquely Szechuan. I have heard (not tried) that the dry-fried eggplant is special. The spicy fragrant duck is also supposed to be good. But again, only if he's there, and based on second-hand suggestions....and be prepared for numbingly hot cuisine.

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#233 zoramargolis

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Posted 13 July 2011 - 08:43 PM

I was very partial to fish with scallions in a bamboo basket, beef with cumin and his amazing pork ribs. But there are others much more familiar with his signature dishes.

#234 johnb

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Posted 27 July 2011 - 08:33 PM

FYI to fellow Chang fans. The Paramount Theater in Charlottesville will be hosting a special event with Chang and his friend Chef Gen Lee, on Sept. 25. This will include a dim sum at his restaurant, tasting of local wines, a movie, and a lecture/Q&A. Details at this link

http://www.theparamo...ef-peter-chang/

#235 Lori Gardner

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Posted 28 July 2011 - 11:06 PM

I was at Peter Chang China Grill a few weeks ago. Sadly, Peter Chang was not there. But I thought the dry-fried eggplant was fantastic. We also had ma po tofu and a house special fish. The flavors were unlike any I have experienced in the DC area. There was some serious heat in the dishes but rice and lots of water helped us manage the fire. The event sounds great- maybe even worth the drive.

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#236 Escoffier

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Posted 29 July 2011 - 04:25 AM

I used to go to the Paramount theater on Saturday mornings to watch a "All cartoon" morning. The cost? Twenty-five cents. Now... Peter Chang? Probably more than a quarter.

In memory of David Weber of Malvern Racing, Desmo4USA, and StephenB. Good friends gone forever.


#237 johnb

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Posted 30 July 2011 - 08:19 PM

I used to go to the Paramount theater on Saturday mornings to watch a "All cartoon" morning. The cost? Twenty-five cents. Now... Peter Chang? Probably more than a quarter.

You're dating yourself. But I can go you one better. I used to go to the Saturday night double feature. In the balcony the price was twenty cents. My folks always gave me a quarter, so after the show I stopped into the drugstore next door and, at the soda fountain (remember those), had a large mug of root beer for the remaining 5 cents.

Those were the days.

#238 darkstar965

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Posted 03 August 2011 - 11:19 PM

I never before heard of the Paramount but have heard much about Peter Chang and, thanks to this thread, called the theater to book for the 9/25 event.

They're sold out :mellow:

P.S., If anyone wants to sell a couple of tix, please pm me

#239 Escoffier

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 06:03 AM

You're dating yourself. But I can go you one better. I used to go to the Saturday night double feature. In the balcony the price was twenty cents. My folks always gave me a quarter, so after the show I stopped into the drugstore next door and, at the soda fountain (remember those), had a large mug of root beer for the remaining 5 cents.

Those were the days.

You sure you weren't talking about the Jefferson or Lafayette? Next door to the Paramount was Dixie News and on the other was a dress store. The balcony at the Paramount was the "separate but equal" section with it's own ticket booth and entrance.

In memory of David Weber of Malvern Racing, Desmo4USA, and StephenB. Good friends gone forever.


#240 Joe H

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Posted 04 August 2011 - 08:19 AM

Seems to me that it was cheaper to sit behind the Senators' dugout at Griffith stadium than it was to sit in the front row of the Gayety...

#241 johnb

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Posted 14 December 2011 - 12:59 PM

Update.

I have heard (not fully confirmed) that Chang will be opening in Richmond (the previously-discussed location in Short Pump) a small place to be called Peter Chang's Cafe, in about 2-3 months. Of greater interest to Rockwellians, there appears to be a place near the Pentagon on the horizon, maybe mid year. Ann Arbor is also on the short list. I will post any further info that comes my way.

Chang will be doing a Chinese New Years dinner at the James Beard House in NYC on Jan. 30. Wines by Jefferson Vineyard. $170 per head.

#242 Hana

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 07:27 PM

This is not subject consistent, but does anyone know where Peter Chang is these day?
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#243 johnb

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 10:06 PM

This is not subject consistent, but does anyone know where Peter Chang is these day?

The latest info I have is similar to what I posted above in December. He is expected to open a place in Richmond within a few weeks. He is also looking at the possibility of a place in Washington sometime this year. He is pretty much out of Atlanta AFAIK -- Richmond will be home base for a while, and Charlottesville will continue. He actually now has a residence (an apartment if my info is correct) in Richmond, a first since he came to the US.

I will have more definitive info to post after the Beard dinner at the end of the month.

#244 zoramargolis

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 09:06 PM

Details about Chang banquet in Richmond. Warning: do not read this if you are hungry.

#245 darkstar965

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 10:11 PM

Details about Chang banquet in Richmond. Warning: do not read this if you are hungry.


Wow. And Wow! You've done a great thing here, Zora. :o

#246 DonRocks

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Posted 09 February 2012 - 11:02 PM

Details about Chang banquet in Richmond. Warning: do not read this if you are hungry.


I was invited and had to pass. :(

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#247 Escoffier

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 05:28 AM

I was invited and had to pass. :(


I was invited and went. You missed a decent dinner. I think the food was toned down considerably, possibly due to some twit bringing their children. I missed the complexity of spicing that's the signature of Chef Chang (and there was no cumin fish, but it was still a worthwhile 6 hour roundtrip drive). The highlight of the evening was probably the lambchops because this almost reached the expected level of spicy and tender and multi-layered complexity. The shrimp was mediocre at best. The dumpling skins for the steamed dumplings were tough and rather chewy but was compensated for to some extent by the filling. The Dan-Dan noodles were good but not out of the ordinary (Hong Kong Palace sets the standard for Dan-Dan noodles for me). The fish that comprised the last dish was totally uninspired. A piece of what I mistook initially as chicken-skin turned out to be a somewhat tasteless piece of white fish. This could have come from the late, unlamented Charlie Chang menu for Americans. The friendliness and helpfulness of the wait-staff made the evening. Would I go back? Of course, I put this rather forgettable dinner down to opening night jitters, the presence of small children and the fact that Chef Chang was cooking for a full house that all arrived at one time. There's not much time for experimentation when you have to get 200 orders out at once.

In memory of David Weber of Malvern Racing, Desmo4USA, and StephenB. Good friends gone forever.


#248 Lydia R

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 07:15 PM

I was invited and went. You missed a decent dinner. I think the food was toned down considerably, possibly due to some twit bringing their children.


Gosh, maybe it was an investor. Although your service sounds better than our April, 2006 two-table DR-meal at Szechuan Boy, the food sounds mass market.
Based on his article in today's Post, Tim Carman and JohnB were there too.


A few of the chef’s dedicated fans were invited to the grand opening Wednesday night of Peter Chang’s Cafe, his second in central Virginia; he opened Peter Chang’s China Grill last year in Charlottesville. Among the well-wishers was John Binkley, the former Washingtonian whose near-obsessive pursuit of Chang was chronicled in Calvin Trillin’s March 2010 article in the New Yorker.

In a way, Wednesday’s dinner might have marked an end to Binkley’s celebrated sleuthing, a pursuit that has been mutually beneficial for chef and customer. Binkley became a sort of hero to fellow Changians, as the chef’s followers sometimes refer to themselves, and Chang has earned the official title of cult figure, which has only increased his marquee value.


There's nothing in the Richmond Times-Dispatch about this restaurant's opening week. Do the Lees understand the Richmond market?

Here's a summary of Chef Chang's travels by Tim Carman, Gene Thorp, and Bonnie Berkowitz/The Washington Post.

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#249 Escoffier

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 09:31 PM

Gosh, maybe it was an investor. Although your service sounds better than our April, 2006 two-table DR-meal at Szechuan Boy, the food sounds mass market.
Based on his article in today's Post, Tim Carman and JohnB were there too.


Tim Carman was to my right. A certain lady who used to do food reviews was to his right. To the right of the lady was John B. We travel in rarefied company :). And although John B's quest was prominently mentioned, overlooked was the part that Stephen B played in getting Trillin to write that story and Grover's car in getting them from the DC area to Charlottesville to sample Peter's food. The conversation between Alexandria and Charlottesville was wide-ranging and quite interesting. Mr. Trillin is one of a kind.

I was sitting at the table closest to the front of Szechuan Boy at that luncheon/dinner. Our service (considering there was really only one very harried server) wasn't too bad. You must have been at the other table. That table was always served last.

My only conclusion from dinner on Wednesday night is that I'll have to go back during normal business hours to sample the food and hope that there aren't 20 children underfoot who probably can't handle Szechuan spicing. I hope there's something suitable on the menu for that clientele (chicken nuggets and a baby-sitter would be my recommendation but some people take their children (like they take their dogs) anywhere and everywhere (even when it's not a good idea or appropriate)).

There's nothing in the Richmond Times-Dispatch about this restaurant's opening week. Do the Lees understand the Richmond market?


Apparently not, nor advertising in general I'm afraid. While there were a large number of people there whose entire intent seems to have been to eat free, there was some serious schmoozing going on (I have now added two more wine distributors to my list of contacts in the wine business). One day that information may become handy. As I said, the food was not as complex, and in some cases mediocre. I hope this was an aberration and not what is going to be the norm.

In memory of David Weber of Malvern Racing, Desmo4USA, and StephenB. Good friends gone forever.


#250 johnb

johnb

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Posted 10 February 2012 - 10:09 PM

Zora -- where do you find this stuff?

Just a couple of vignettes.

As noted above, I was seated next to a certain lady who used to do restaurant reviews. Said lady was, of course, Phyllis Richman. I had never had the pleasure of meeting her, and sitting next to her for the dinner was a huge thrill, alone worth the journey (for me about 900 miles round trip). She and Carman came down together; I was a bit surprized that he didn't mention she was there in his article.

According to Lee, Chang has never had a real home in all the years he has been cooking since the embassy gig. Many nights he slept in the kitchen of whichever restauant he was cooking in. Now he and Lisa have a nice apartment near the restaurant, and he has finally started living like a human being. To the point that he now has gotten in the habit of stopping at Starbucks every morning for coffee and a bagel, on the way in. I guess that's some type of fusion..... Maybe someday soon we will have Chen Cang bagles?

And I'm really sorry that Rocks couldn't be there.




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