Buddakan New York is this place.
On Monday, Philly kingpin Stephen Starr opens the decadent, 16,000-square-foot space—a spectacular two-story Chinese mansion in the upper regions of the Meatpacking District.
Warning: Buddakan is a labyrinth of corridors and chambers with different dining experiences around each corner—so a blind reservation might have you on a date facing a brick wall or doing business over the glow of soft candlelight in the intimate Red Vase Room. We don't want this for you.
That's why we've put together the quick and dirty inside guide to the rooms of Buddakan:
If you're in the mood for quick drinks and bites, the Lounge, with its stainless steel bar and giant tables, is sure to be the area's next biggest scene. For dates, request the Red Vase Room, a sexy tucked-away room with giant red lacquered vases and mood lighting. The place to be will be the soaring two-level Grand Hall, where you will find the longest and hottest communal table in the city (you might even find yourself making a reservation for one). Hit the Blue Areas along the perimeters of both floors if you're looking for a more "chill" way to experience Buddakan (yes, there is a chill way to experience Buddakan). But the Golden Library is the hottest room in the place—glowing from the gilt spines of hundreds of books, the library is ideal for private parties with its private bar, center banquette and secret entrance off of 16th Street.
No matter where you are, the inspired haute Chinese dishes sizzle, thanks to the efforts of chefs Michael Schulson and Angelo Sosa—our favorites were the Crispy Taro Puff Lollipops, Sizzling Dungeness Crabs with Chili and Bean Sauce, and Shaken Chili Beef Tartare.
And a little secret from the kitchen? They'll make anything you want off the menu, so if you're really hankering for done-up kung pao chicken, ask away.
Buddakan may have Philly roots, but it's got New York-size aspirations.