Pat and I had dinner at Peter Chang’s China Grill tonight. We had stopped there on a whim Thursday, because we were both late at work and wouldn’t be able to prepare a reasonable meal; not knowing that reservations were needed, we couldn’t get a table that night. So, we made a reservation for tonight.
We arrived a couple of minutes late, only to learn that we had the wrong time in our calendars. Not a problem! We had it early, so we were not late. We were just a couple of minutes early! As Pat and hostess discussed this, pouring over the reservation list, I nosed around the dining area.
Then we were seated in a booth. As often happens, we’d forgotten to carry in our sets of metal chopsticks. Sigh.
The menu had many dishes we remembered from our two meals at Taste of China, Mr. Chang’s previous venture in Charlottesville. There were only two of us, though, so we couldn’t order everything on the menu, even if we were skipping the mammal and fowl. We ordered coriander fish rolls, dry-fried eggplant, braised bean curd with vegetables, and Hunan fried fish. Wooohoo!
Food came to the table quickly, and it was delightful. Oh yes, the eggplant was spicy, as was the fish. I liked the spiciness a lot more than Pat did, but she was going back for more and following bites with lots of rice to absorb the spices. The bean curd had complex flavors, but I could still taste the individual onion, bok choi, and such in it. I had a fine time over-indulging.
Prices were pretty reasonable: $6-10 for apetizers; $10-18 for entrees (with a couple of higher items). I didn’t see the wine list, but it appears there is wine served.
The venue is the old Wild Greens location in the north wing of Barracks Road shopping center. The large bar that dominated the entry room is gone, making room for many more tables. By my rough count, there are nine or ten 2- or 4-top booths (we were at A2, which is in the lower, western room), a few other small tables, a dozen or so 4-top largish square tables (we saw a group of five seated at one), and perhaps five large 8-top tables with lazy susans at their centers (these reminded us of banquet tables we have seen in Asia).
Although the dining room was not full, the receptionist was turning away walk-in guests. According to our waitron, the ownership wants to get control of the schedule before having to deal with a full dining room that is turning over rapidly. Pat noted that they are likely to have to handle such a situation; they will need to get ready quickly unless they irritate enough customers that the clientele disappears. After we got home, I learned that there have been features on local television as well as a the Hook piece.
As I walked around the dining area, peeking into the hall toward the kitchen entrance and such, I didn’t see the array of certificates and medals that I remember from the wall when Chef Chang cooked at Taste of China in Albemarle Square. I don’t know whether they are hidden in an office, just not on display yet, not going to be displayed, or what….