A reader emailed me yesterday asking for a roundup of the best places to celebrate Chinese New Year in Miami. I confess: I was at a bit of a loss, but after asking around and doing a little digging, I came up with a few ideas.
Chinese New Year, known in China as Spring Festival, starts on February 7 this year, year of the rat, and celebrations end 15 days later. It is the longest and most important Chinese celebration, rich with tradition and food symbolism — a whole fish for abundance, noodles (never cut) for longevity, a whole chicken for prosperity, dumplings for good luck and fortune, and there’s more. Many Chinese restaurants don’t seem to be offering anything special for the occasion, but here’s what I found.
Between Wednesday, February 6 and Sunday, February 10, you can enjoy lion dance, kung fu and Chinese dance performances while you eat dinner. Show starts at 8 p.m. on each of those nights and costs $18 per person. That’s just for the entertainment, of course. Dinner is a la carte. The festivities here were recommended by several people. 890 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-538-8424.
At Kon Chau, the menu will remain the same, but on Sunday, February 10 at noon, you can watch a lion dance performance at the restaurant. 8376 SW 40th St., Miami; 305.553.7799.
This North Miami Beach restaurant will offer lion dance and martial arts performances on Saturday, February 9 at 7 p.m. 1232 NE 163 St., North Miami Beach; 305.945.1722.
Now this is one expensive celebration. For $125 per person (excluding tax and gratuity), you can hang out at the Mandarin Oriental between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Thursday, February 7, eat foods — including dumplings, Shanghai noodles, seafood fried rice and others — and watch artistic demonstrations and lion and dragon dance performances, all in the hotel’s beach area by the bay. Reservations are required. 500 Brickell Key Drive, Miami; 305.913.8358
Anyone have other suggestions for a fellow mango&lime reader?