The Citiblog

From the Team Behind Silver Apricot Comes NYC's Figure Eight
November 15, 2023, 12:39.25 am ET


Photos: Figure Eight

Figure Eight, a New-American-Chinese restaurant, has opened at 18 Cornelia Street in the West Village. The restaurant is celebrating the rich culture of the Atlantic coast through a Chinese-American lens.

Restaurateur Emmeline Zhao’s experience growing up in North Carolina provides a unique Southern perspective. The 40-seat restaurant, housed in the former space of the iconic Pearl Oyster Bar, is offering dishes family-style.

The menu crafted by Executive Chef Calvin Hwang (previously of SAGA/Crown Shy) is aimed at serving groups of all sizes with small plates of Grilled Oysters with XO butter for sharing; Turnip Tots with lap cheong mayo and shrimp ketchup; Mini Tempura Lobster Rolls with douchi, preserved lemon on a house-made split top milk bun.

Other offerings include Hot Fried Skate with chili crisp, buttermilk ranch and pickles; Pork Ribs with pineapple char siu, pickled chili and cilantro; and Crab Pimento Cheese Dip with smoked paprika and shrimp chips.

Large format dishes include Soy Poached Chicken with “hong shao” collard greens, crispy Hoppin’ John (Carolina crispy peas and rice) and ginger scallion relish, along with Crispy Sea Bass with yu yuan fish head soup, green allium relish, and XO sauce.

Desserts include Banana Five Spice Slice with banana custard, five spice crumb and caramel espuma; and Pecan Sesame Tangyuan with pecan florentine and Taitan apple vinegar ice cream.

Drinks here take a similar path like the Kult of Personality with Yakult, mizu shochu, grape and mint; and The Pollinator with yuzu, osmanthus vodka and elderflower. The wine program celebrates domestic producers of wine, sake and beer, with a focus on women- and immigrant-owned businesses.

Figure Eight is a nod to Figure Eight Island, an historic, five-mile, 1,300-acre barrier island off the coast of North Carolina, known as one of the most pristine coastal Atlantic destinations. The number eight is also considered the ultimate symbol of good fortune in Chinese culture.

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