I never need an excuse to eat Asian noodle soups, but it being the dead of winter and the start of Chinese New Year, the timing seemed particularly good for rounding up a few of my favorites.
'Belmont' on Serious Eats
You'll know Shangri-La by the line the snakes out the door—a guaranteed sight every Saturday and Sunday between the hours of 11:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.
The perks of tasting menus: Part of the fun is the element of surprise, and part is being served something that you wouldn't ordinarily order—and discovering a new, unlikely favorite. That's how it happened with me and the Grilled Trout ($22) at Il Casale.
What really sets Shangri-La's soup apart from other egg drop soups is the fixin's: wilted fresh spinach leaves, whole shiitake mushrooms, sliced bamboo, cellophane noodles, and—as a true testament to the soup's name—an omelet that stretches from one side of the bowl to the other.
The title of the relevant Chowhound post sums it up nicely: "Best yogurt I've ever eaten—Sophia's Belmont." I couldn't agree more.
What makes an old-school, family-centric restaurant good for a couple is its very sense of familiarity. Perhaps you grew up with a go-to family spot, one where you celebrated practically every milestone you can remember. Or perhaps you'd like to find such a spot with a current paramour, where you might even take your own kids one day. For plenty of diners, Roberto's is just that kind of establishment, consistent and comfortable, a place to pass down.