From diners to fine dining, all are represented among Chinese restaurants on Long Island. Why such a range of choices? Since 2013, there’s been a boomlet of openings from Great Neck to Stony Brook, delivering more seductive and interesting cuisine from every region of the country. Here are our top picks for 2016.
Beijing House(Credit: Marisol Diaz)
Beijing House, Syosset: With its diminutive dining room, booths packed with families, Beijing House delivers Chinese dishes from balanced to bold. Begin with Shanghai meatballs and bok choy, followed by tender steamed dumplings filled with pork and chives. Consider a side of Chinese celery with dried tofu, then go big with fish in chili oil, whole snapper in black bean sauce or a savory sauteed lamb with scallions. (Pictured: Lamb with scallions)
Fried baby shrimp with salt and pepper are served at Beijing House in Syosset.
Chef Wang New Sichuan Cuisine(Credit: Benjamin Petit)
Chef Wang New Sichuan Cuisine, New Hyde Park: The restaurateur behind several Manhattan spots -- Legend 88, Legend 72 and Legend Upper West -- Ding Gen Wang steers this bi-level eatery with a cathedral ceiling, Chinese artwork and midcentury modern accents. Yes, you can get sushi here. But Wang is at his best with classic Sichuan dishes, from braised sliced beef or fish with hot chili oil. The braised pork belly, Sichuan style, pairs nicely with leeks. Whether it's cumin lamb, beef or ribs, these dishes are serious. (Pictured: Fried cumin lamb)
Braised sliced fish with hot chili sauce is served at Chef Wang New Sichuan Cuisine in New Hyde Park.
Fortune Wheel Seafood Restaurant(Credit: Nicole Horton)
Fortune Wheel Seafood Restaurant, Levittown: The family-friendly, no-frills time capsule has been serving Long Island for more than 20 years. Americanized Chinese fare can be had, but the kitchen specializes in the cuisine of Hong Kong, particularly seafood. Past the daytime dim sum menu -- with dishes like sticky rice in lotus leaves, steamed pork buns or turnip cake -- consider clams in black bean sauce, fried or sweet and sour pork chops and bok choy with peanuts. (Pictured: Lobster with ginger and scallions)
A dim sum tray is served at Fortune Wheel Seafood Restaurant in Levittown.
Green Tea Restaurant(Credit: John Griffin)
Green Tea Restaurant, Stony Brook: Green Tea helps the Chinese student community at Stony Brook "remember the taste of China," stated on the menu and on the website. Pick and choose among regional dishes, from the fisherman-style fish fillet -- fried flounder tossed with a mix of chili peppers, garlic, cilantro, black beans and dried pork -- to the walnut shrimp with mayonnaise, a Cantonese classic. Cumin tofu is an unusual dish worthy of attention: velvety soy cubes dressed in heady spices. Consider the vegetable or seafood mix for a diverse, less spicy dish. (Pictured: Cumin tofu)
Walnut shrimp is served at Green Tea Restaurant in Stony Brook.
LOL Kitchen & Grill(Credit: Daniel Brennan)
LOL Kitchen and Grill, Centereach: The name here is a reference to the acronym "laugh out loud," the online game League of Legends and "a Chinese reference to eating food on skewers," says Yang Liu, the 26-year-old owner. There are many rewards on a menu of boldly seasoned vegetables, cumin-laced meats, hot pots and skewered foods cooked on the grill -- the best items on the menu. Start with barbecued chives, several in a row, like streamers on the handlebars of a child's bike, bright green, dusted with sesame and cumin. Taiwanese sausage will please a more conservative diner. A little snap of the skin delivers pork seasoned with star anise and Chinese rice wine. The Northern Chinese hot pot is a regional favorite, stocked with braised pork belly, slippery tofu skins, blistered green beans and slivers of eggplant. (Pictured: Northern hot pot)
Steamed grass carp fish head with diced red peppers is served at LOL Kitchen and Grill in Centereach.
Moonstone Modern Asian Cuisine and Bar(Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus)
Moonstone Modern Asian Cuisine and Bar, Great Neck: This polished restaurant is attentive to details, from just-right lighting, comfortable high-backed chairs and linen-dressed tables. On a vast menu, there's a dish for every palate. Nibble on hoisin-glazed bacon sliders or a steamed dim sum sampler to start. Splurge on lobster dressed in black bean sauce or settle in with something savory and sweet, like pork and chestnuts with wok-sauteed spinach and garlic. Sushi, too. (Pictured: Sanpei chicken claypot)
"Green" shrimp with asparagus and broccoli is served at Moonstone Modern Asian Cuisine and Bar in Great Neck.
Orient Odyssey(Credit: Nicole Horton)
Orient Odyssey, Jericho: Yes, you can get Cantonese classics and Chinese American dishes at Orient Odyssey -- sibling restaurant to the flagship Orient in Bethpage -- now in a sleek, modern dining room with plenty of light. Consider an array of dumplings to start, followed by seafood pan-fried noodles punctuated with greens. Follow up with savory spare ribs, kissed by char. Among specials, look for "more sophisticated, authentic Chinese food to Long Island," said owner Tommy Tan. If soft-shell crab is on the menu, be sure to place an order. (Pictured: Spicy seafood casserole)
Sauteed, cubed flounder with chives is served at Orient Odyssey in Jericho.
Red Tiger Dumpling House(Credit: Heather Walsh)
Red Tiger Dumpling House, Stony Brook: Like little purses filled with fragrant broth, handmade soup-dumplings are a go-to, but you won't be disappointed by others listed on the dumpling menu, from the dainty shrimp dumplings to the Kung Fu buns, fat with pork and vegetables. Don't be afraid to branch out among larger dishes from Shanghai, Beijing and Northern China, like the perfectly crisp scallion pancakes, Singapore mei fun or a bold beef noodle soup brightened by bok choy. (Pictured: Cumin beef)
Steamed crabmeat and pork soup buns are served at Red Tiger Dumpling House in Stony Brook.
Tao’s Delicacies(Credit: Daniel Brennan)
Tao's Delicacies, Selden: Yes, you'll be offered Sichuan fare at the Halal Chinese spot, but you'll also find dishes from Hong Kong and Northern China. Try the stewed beef with chilies, the dan dan noodles and the shredded potatoes, served hot and sour. The leg of lamb is an ambitious order, layered with caramelized onions, chilies, peanuts and Sichuan peppercorns. Among the most spicy dishes on the menu, Chongqing chicken can be ordered on or off the bone, the former the more authentic option. It's also a good place to visit with a group for one of three family-style options starting at around $55 and up to $175 for a feast. Service is fast and efficient and there's plenty of room for groups, courtesy of a few private rooms that have recently been remodeled. (Pictured: Dan Dan noodles with ground beef and spicy chili sauce)
Shredded potatoes are served at Tao's Delicacies in Selden.
Yao's Diner(Credit: Newsday / Erica Marcus)
Yao's Diner, Centereach: A little eatery serving big flavors, visit Yao's Diner for Sichuan-inspired dishes, like fried fish filets with chilies and greens, steamed pork ribs, or an interesting version of Kung Pao chicken with peanuts and bamboo shoots. Don't skip the vegetables, since the sauteed snow peas, Chinese celery and hand cabbage with chilies are as memorable as the meats. (Pictured: Cumin lamb)
Deep fried crabs are served at Yao's Diner in Centereach.