NYC’s historical Doyers Street seems to gather all the neighborhood’s hotspots: dim sum institution Nom Wah Tea Parlor, one of Manhattan’s favorite speakeasy cocktail bars Apotheke… And more recently, the opening of “fusion” restaurant Chinese Tuxedo became yet another reason for New Yorkers to want to go down to Chinatown!
Chinese Tuxedo opened at the end of 2016 in the heart of Chinatown, in a majestic venue that was once an opera house. With such a location and such a name, you know a night at Chinese Tuxedo comes with style! The two-story restaurant resides in an impressive large space with a classy, funky vibe. Original columns from the former opera house remain, as do the high ceilings, walls, and floor beams, blending in with the modern yet dramatic decor (love the abundant plants). It has a bit of a clubby feel to it that might make you think you’re in the Meatpacking district, but without the B&T crowd (for now). Chinese Tuxedo is definitely a “very New York” scene, bringing in the fancy in Chinatown: it’s cool, it’s fun, it’s trendy AF! Totally the sort of spot where Carrie Bradshaw would have had her girls’ night out.
Good for late night dinners
The restaurant is an upscale, sexy addition to the neighborhood, serving a high-end, contemporary version of traditional Chinese recipes. This is not the place for classically authentic Chinese food – the menu clearly caters more to the General-Tso aficionados (and looking around the target audience is noticeably not Asian…) The menu focuses on re-imagined, modernized Cantonese classics for… literally five time the price as its neighboring peers! I’m all about paying a premium for inventive takes on any cuisine, but a dumpling, albeit tasty, remains a dumpling… And rice & noodles – carry on being rice & noodles! Don’t get me wrong, the food at Chinese Tuxedo isn’t bad at all. But it isn’t’ great either. And it certainly isn’t worth the price tag, especially since comparable, if not better, Chinese fare is just around the block for a fraction of the price. I guess my point is, you don’t go to Chinese Tuxedo for the food, but for the gorgeous space, fun vibe and trendy atmosphere.
The predominantly European waitstaff (go figure!) is friendly, but service is spotty and sometimes chaotic.
Credit card required for bookings
Most of the dining room tables sit more than 2 people, so I’d be reluctant to call this a good date spot, although the beautiful setting has a romantic and dramatic feel to it. Chinese Tuxedo is best for groups, especially since reservations are only available for parties of 4+. If you (understandably) don’t want to spend $25 on a side of Lo Mein, Chinese Tuxedo has a cool bar scene at the entrance (although it currently does not have a hard liquor license).
Come to Chinese Tuxedo for a girls’ or boys’ night out, or if you’re bar hopping in the neighborhood on your way to Apotheke.
Open daily for dinner 6pm-12pm