Chinese New Year, aka the Lunar New Year, falls on February 8 this year, but the celebration traditionally continues for 15 days. That means there’s ample time to pay your respects to the Year of the Monkey by eating your way through the holiday, the way it’s been done for millennia.
Restaurants around the country serve a dazzling variety of dishes on their special Chinese New Year menus, and if you zip around to enough places you'll start to notice some themes: long noodles to symbolize long life, spring rolls for prosperity, dumplings for luck, whole-fish dishes that represent abundance, and sweet cakes for sweet lives.
If you want to bring in the year opulently, Hakkasan, which has branches in cities including New York, San Francisco, Miami and Las Vegas, is offering a banquet of luxe dishes like Diced Wagyu beef and Pine Nut Golden Cup (served in a lettuce cup), and Wok-Fried Lobster in Spicy Truffle Sauce. Repeat: That's lobster in spicy truffle sauce. This is definitely a dish you want, maybe even every single day for the whole 15 days. The ultra-rich lobster soaks up every ounce of the tingly sauce, made with ground-up black truffles, but the extra fat slices of truffle on top ensure an added dose of wealth potential for the year.
Other decadent options abound: Top Chef Masters’ Anita Lo will serve uber-lucky dishes like Foie Gras Dumplings at her New York restaurant Annisa. And in San Francisco, at TV chef Martin Yan’s M.Y. China, chef Tony Wu is recreating recipes from his Grandma Wu: Expect a "Gold and Silver" dish of calamari, scallops and shrimp, and Long Life Noodles with barbecued pork, shrimp and XO sauce.
Or you can always get your DIY CNY fix at home and stock up on whole tangerines and oranges, which symbolize luck and wealth, respectively.
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