One of the major, recent changes in dining out on Long Island has been the rise of more authentic Chinese restaurants. Devotees of terrific Chinese food still lament the closing in 2007 of Hunam in Levittown. But here are three eateries that deftly turn up the BTUs with the cuisine of Sichuan, a very spicy province in southwestern China.
Chef Wang in New Hyde Park offers more than Sichuan fare. You can order sushi and sashimi. But stick with the spice. Recommended: braised fish with chili peppers; dan dan noodles; Sichuan cold noodles; chili-sauce sliced conch; braised pork belly; "numbing & spicy" tofu; fried beef or fried lamb with cumin; spicy diced rabbit; pork dumplings in chili sauce; hot pots. Moderate.
Chef Wang, 1902 Jericho Tpke., New Hyde Park, 516-354-2858, chefwangny.com
Cheng Du in Franklin Square is named for the capital of Sichuan, a city of 7.8 million. This establishment provides a savory tour. Recommended: dan dan noodles with minced pork; spicy spring rolls; dry-fried chicken; tea-smoked duck; Sichuan beef noodle soup; hot and sour soup; cold noodles with chili oil; hot and spicy grilled fish; beef in hot and sour pot; and, visiting elsewhere, Taiwanese pork buns. Moderate.
Cheng Du, 947-949 Hempstead Tpke., Franklin Square, 516-358-1603, chengduny.com
Spicy Home Tasty in Commack lives up to its name. And the straightforward spot offers good service to go with the spirited cuisine: Recommended: wontons in chili oil; cold sesame noodles; dan dan noodles with minced pork; Chengdu roasted chicken; dry-pot lamb; mapo tofu with minced pork; salt-and-pepper pork; braised beef noodle soup; tea-smoked duck; smoked pork with steamed buns; spicy chicken with dry hot peppers. Moderate.
Spicy Home Tasty, 1087 Jericho Tpke., Commack, 631-543-8880, spicyhometastyny.com