CloverEats: Chao Chao in New Haven
Chao Chao (or is it House of Chao? Chao Restaurant and Wine Bar?) is a surprising authentic restaurant in an unexpectedly moody setting. It’s dark and sophisticated, and feels almost like an archive or basement, suited more to a speakeasy than a Chinese restaurant. Also, I’m not sure what makes this a wine bar, as we were offered neither a cocktail menu nor a wine list, although granted it was still early in the day. Service was again surprisingly top-notch, with speedy and attentive waiters and a manager who spoke Chinese. There’s even a menu in Mandarin, that’s how you know it’s legit. I got the Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup, recommended by our waiter as one of the most popular dishes on the menu. The beef and pickled cabbage were fantastic, but I wish the noodles were a little thicker and more flavorful. Fred got the Three Cup Chicken, which while I thought was delicious and smoky and savory, he found too fatty. We got a great side of house kimchi too. I’d definitely come back for the great food in an unexpected but lovely atmosphere. Check them out on Yelp or at their website!