The top of page 3 in the food section of today’s News & Observer had its typical tease for Greg Cox’s weekly review, which is how I usually identify the restaurant to be reviewed. In some instances, they don’t name the restaurant, so I end up sending Greg an email to find out the subject of the review. They did something completely different today, which I hope doesn’t become their standard procedure: the teaser said, “Greg Cox gives four stars to a Triangle Chinese restaurant.”
Geesh, they’ve already told us how many stars the restaurant receives, so I can’t do my typical story this week.
So, we’ll turn it around for once. We know that a Triangle-based Chinese restaurant is getting a 4-star review on Friday. We just need to guess what restaurant that might be. I’m going to have to disqualify myself, because I’ve dined with Greg at one local Chinese restaurant, that was pretty darned good. And he told me about a couple of others. I will say that if he gave 4 stars to the restaurant where we ate, I’m going to be at odds with him. But I don’t want to jump to conclusions here.
What are the 4-star worthy Chinese restaurants in the Triangle?
Edit, December 17, 2010
Greg Cox awarded 4 stars to Asian Grill in North Raleigh, a tiny establishment in a strip mall that features Shanghai cuisine, including very tasty soup dumplings. I am a complete novice when it comes to Shanghai cuisine, but I actually accompanied Greg when we had lunch there several weeks ago. It was delicious, including some dishes I’ve never had before (sea bass with a wine sauce). They had soup dumplings. Really good soup dumplings. This place is good. Damn good. But is it 4 star worthy? In a vacuum, yes, this place has 4 star food. It’s really good stuff. But under the N&O’s rating system, a casual place like this can only get 4 stars. It’s as high as it can go. I’m not sure that Asian Grill represents the pinnacle of casual Chinese dining. I know that Bella Mia, for example, represents the pinnacle of pizza, and they got 4 stars.
However, I leave that discussion for another day, when I write about the inherent problems with a star-based system. Until then, just get over to Asian Grill. It’s a great addition to the local dining scene.