Think Chinese: New Year's specials going for next couple of weeks


Bye bye rat. Hello ox!

It's Chinese New Year, and for the next couple of weeks, average per capita dumpling consumption and dragon dance watching will be off the charts. That might not be true, but it's a fact that Twin Cities-area Chinese joints are dishing up some specials. Here are a few for you:

Normally I roll my eyes like a little brat about restaurant word twists, which always seem to feature more prominently at Asian places (like "Wok N Roll", or "Thai the Knot", the name of a drink I had recently), but I have to say I like Rainbow Chinese's Minnesotan take on the incoming ox.

Through Feb. 7 the restaurant is serving up a whole slew of specials, among them a drink called "The Paul Bunyan," which is made with bacon-infused bourbon (oh yeah). A non-alcoholic sparkling blueberry lemonade called "Babe the Blue Ox" will also be available, in addition to a number of entrees, desserts and apps.

Dinkytown seafood specialists Shuang Cheng will be running a lobster special in honor of the ox for the next couple of weeks -- $16.95 for an entire crustacean stirfried with a choice of accompaniments. The spicy black bean is popular.

Little Szechuan has gone and rolled out an entire new menu for the occasion. The new items (such as a beef, cucumber and chili sauce app. and a salt and pepper pork chop entree) are featured on their own, separate New Year's menu now but the restaurant plans to roll them into their regular menu.