Rare is the restaurant that survives seven years, let alone 37. In China Gourmet’s case, it’s all about clientele. On any given night well-heeled seniors sip hot and sour soup and a bar full of genial regulars belts back craft brews and generous pours of chardonnay. Bubbly waitresses bearing up under trays laden with dumplings, steamed whole fish, and sesame-slicked nests of noodles eagerly greet regular customers by name as they zoom by, returning later to properly ask after grandchildren, dogs, and recent vacations. Tenley Moy is a second-generation owner who deftly understands his demographic with quality and prices to match—think Chinese preparations of Rainbow trout, New Zealand lamb chops, jumbo sea scallops, and an eight-ounce filet that rivals what you’d find at one of downtown’s chop houses. Not to worry, traditional Chinese standards are also well represented—shrimp shumai, duck spring rolls served with hoisin sauce, generous portions of Szechuan chicken and the occasional curry. The ultimate surprise? Printed at the bottom of the menu: If you don’t see what you’re looking for, just ask. That’s the kind of service you’d expect from a place where everybody knows your name.
China Gourmet, 3340 Erie Ave., Hyde Park, (513) 871-6612, thechinagourmet.com. Dinner Mon–Sat, lunch Tues–Fri.
Originally published in the February 2015 issue.
Photograph by Jeremy Kramer