Friday, August 8, 2014

Lan Garden in Ridgefield is taking 30% off during soft opening

Manager Leo Lee deboning a pan-fried whole flounder tonight at Lan Garden, a new Chinese restaurant on Route 46 in Ridgefield that is having a soft opening.


After many months of renovation and a change of ownership, Lan Garden on Route 46 in Ridgefield is finally having a soft opening.

The widely anticipated Chinese restaurant, which specializes in seafood and dim sum, is taking 30% off the food bill until the official opening, now set for Aug. 26.

Even the big sign designed to catch the eye of drivers racing by on the highway has changed: 

Lan Garden
Fine Chinese Cuisine
Restaurant & Bar

Complete makeover

The restaurant doesn't have a liquor license yet, but there is a bar as well as a wine room.

The owners of Lan Garden completely made over the building, removing any vestige of the former truck-stop diner that once housed China 46 and Phoenix Garden Too before that.

They will be tough acts to follow.

I stopped in for dinner this evening, ordering a spicy pan-fried whole flounder with sauteed snow peas, broccoli and water chestnuts in XO chili sauce, designated W56 on the limited temporary menu.

But after a long wait, I got a large platter holding only the fish, which weighed about 1.5 pounds, over a sweetish soy-based sauce ($22.95 before the discount).

I asked Manager Leo Lee, who deboned my fish, for the vegetables mentioned on the menu, and he suggested an order of snow pea leaves instead.

They were wonderful sauteed with fresh garlic ($13.95 before the discount).

An order of snow pea leaves with fresh garlic was delicious.

I will return

The kitchen and staff are still getting their sea legs, but I liked the food I tried enough to return and again take advantage of the soft-opening discount.

Lee, the manager, said food was free during the first days of the soft opening, and customers were asked to pay what they wanted.

Tonight, the restaurant didn't have the soft-shell crabs listed under appetizers or brown rice. 

The bowls of free white rice are smaller than at other Chinese restaurants. The plastic chopsticks are pink.

Next time I order a whole fish, I'll ask for it steamed; no matter how good the kitchen is at pan frying, the skin, and crunchy fins and tail can taste oily, as they did tonight.

My waiter said dim sum will be served all day, but must be ordered off the menu; carts won't circulate in the dining room.

The booths are gone, but the dining room of Lan Garden has large, round tables for the multi-generational Chinese families I saw there tonight, below.

There is plenty of parking at Lan Garden, but the gritty truck-repair business next door is a reminder of when the building served as a truck-stop diner.

Lan Garden Restaurant & Bar, 88 Route 46 west, Ridgefield; 201-840-8688. Call for hours during the soft opening.

The Web site, Lan Garden Restaurant & Bar, is under construction.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please try to stay on topic.