Restaurants, Chinese West Village
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 (Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz)
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz


 (Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz)
Photograph: Paul Wagtouicz


 (Photograph: Erica Gannett)
Photograph: Erica Gannett

Sitting Down For Dinner at Decoy

 (Photograph: Erica Gannett)
Photograph: Erica Gannett

¡El Luchador! at Decoy

 (Photograph: Erica Gannett)
Photograph: Erica Gannett

Shrimp-stuffed chicken wings at Decoy

 (Photograph: Erica Gannett)
Photograph: Erica Gannett

Crispy mushroom dumplings at Decoy

RedFarm’s come of age—cocktails, not cartoon dumplings, are the backbone of this late-night lounge and duck house, from dim sum boosters Ed Schoenfeld and Joe Ng. Below their always-packed West Village restaurant, the Chinese-twisting team unveils a witching-hour haunt clad in dim lighting, dark wood and sultry Solomon Burke tunes, where the only things tastier than the crowd-pleasing cocktails are the bar bites you’ll need to stay on your feet.

DRINK THIS: Sometimes Schoenfeld and Ng’s playfulness (see: Pac-Man-shaped sweet potatoes) can veer toward the cheesy when it comes to drinks (a rice-vodka Osakatini, really?). But when that zaniness is reined in, it yields satisfying tongue-in-cheek cocktails ($14) like the chili-spiked pineapple-mescal concoction, Smoke N Spice. The whiskey-sour update Sitting Down for Dinner gets a hit of duck in the form of silky, fat-washed George Dickel (fat is infused with alcohol, chilled and removed to give the whiskey a light meatiness) and an egg-white froth stenciled with a crime-scene outline of the bird.

GOOD FOR: Better-than-pub-grub grub. RedFarm classics like spicy crispy beef and supple pork-and-shrimp dumplings play double duty downstairs, but Ng also turns out new creations, like intensely ducky buns ($16) crammed with both roasted and grilled fowl. The turducken-esque chicken wings ($14) are a barstool spin-off of upstairs’ shrimp-stuffed chicken special: Crusty, cumin-spiked batter encases the moist combo of surf and turf, served with cooling peanut sauce.

THE CLINCHER: Like upstairs, a sole 24-seat table bisects the slip of a room, with longtime RedFarm devotees and fresh-faced West Villagers bumping elbows over frothy Sixpoint pints and steaming bok-choy dumplings. Newly acquainted tablemates flirtily trade skewers for bites of sea-bass-and-avocado tart, a buzzed intimacy missing in the busy barn upstairs. Decoy has the takeout-upgraded Chinese that makes RedFarm great, but with its boozy focus, the fun here is of the grown-up kind.

By: Christina Izzo


Venue name: Decoy
Address: 529 1/2 Hudson St
New York
Cross street: between Charles and W 10th Sts
Opening hours: Daily 5pm-1:30am
Transport: Subway: 1 to Christopher St–Sheridan Sq
Price: Average entrée: $16. AmEx, Disc, MC, V
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Doted the #1 Chinese restaurant in the city, I knew I had to try this place. I'm not the biggest fan of chinese food, it tends to be greasy and oily and the whole MSG turns me off. Plus I can get the same proteins and carbs in a different cuisine. Buttt I kept an open mind and I wasn't disappointed. The food is far from oily and greasy. It's rich, savory, complex, and flavorful! i was out with the bf and parents so we shared a lot of food that was suggested by the chef. Chef knows his stuff because we loved everything. my favorite was a steak and rice dish, followed by steak and litchi dish. Bomb stuff. i even had an oxtail appetizer, which says something because i tend to stick to specific proteins. also foie gras and strawberries for you fancy peeps. all in all a great meal. if you can, go for the pecking duck. i may go back for that. I hear it's better than pecking duck in china!