Hidden New York: Elegant Chinese dining at Dadong

Posted at 5:20 AM, Apr 12, 2019
and last updated 2020-01-10 03:24:20-05

MIDTOWN — Steps from the crossroads of the world, across the street from Bryant Park and behind a Whole Foods, you'll find a Chinese restaurant, massive in scale, but slightly hidden.

It's called DaDong.

You'll find a plaza behind Whole Foods then look for the massive wooden door. You're almost there!

You'll be greeted and invited to take the elevator to the second floor.

When the doors open you'll be astonished: The length of the bar is huge and so is the elegant dining area.

The bartender, Billy Cove, served up imaginative cocktails — Try the 'Mandarin Wind'.

You can start your evening at the bar, then move into one of the many nooks and crannies to eat.

One spot overlooks 42nd St and the restaurant's plaza.

There's a third floor and also a terrace, where some people prefer an even more elegant vibe.

The menu is inventive. The sea bass is served in blueberry and bacon pork sauce. The lobster is hot and spicy.

After sampling both, they are melt in your mouth delicious.

The shrimp and pork dumplings don't disappoint. The signature dish is the roast duck. It's cooked “su bu ni” style.

"What makes it so special is that typically duck has that extra layer of fat right in between the skin and the meat. At DaDong, duck goes through a process, which makes it crispy on the outside and with very little fat on the inside, said DaDong's Celso Moreira.

Chef Dong opened a number of restaurants throughout China, but this is his first one in the United States. Their New York location boasts a number of beautiful sculptures, where the stainless steel sculptures are gilded in 18-carat gold, spell out a message in Chinese characters.

One of the huge pieces is out in the garden off the second floor dining areas.

The garden is the main attraction in the spring and summer temps.

"On a beautiful summer night, it's absolutely gorgeous out here. We do jazz on Wednesday and Thursday nights. We have LIVE bands," Moreira said.

When you dine at DaDong, you will have an incredible experience.

DaDong is located at 3 Bryant Park on 42nd Street near Sixth Avenue.