Chinese New Year is really all about the food…and maybe the red envelopes.
If you’ve ever celebrated with a Chinese family, you know that merrymaking of any kind—be it a wedding, welcoming of a season, or start to a new year—revolves around eating copious amounts of food. It starts with the appearance of an assortment of sweet, pickled, and salted things in small lacquer dishes in homes. And then the serious gourmandizing begins—think shining banquets with soup, noodles, fish, and duck; multiple courses of decadent delights. Once you think you can’t eat anymore, yet another round comes out, too delicious to turn down. (Now is not the time for impulse control).

And then comes times to make it rain. Hello, red envelopes—the crimson hue symbolizes luck with gilded messages welcoming the New Year. It’s all calculated—the amount of money, whether it’s an even or odd number, and determined by age or whether you’re single or married. There are endless factors to consider. Even noodles have special meaning, bequeathing long life to those who slurp.

Come February 16th, between firecrackers and lion dances, you’ll need to be ready for some serious feasting if you intend to celebrate the Year of the Dog. From authentic hole-in-the-wall Chinese restaurants to fancy coursed feasts, special cocktail menus to high tea, here are the tastiest places to ring in Chinese New Year. Note: Celebrations last two weeks, so pace yourself.- 7X7 Magazine (02.07.18)