New menu, same great spot
Two D.C. staples – Silver Lyan and Chang Chang – recently overhauled their menus. At first, we panicked. Don’t fix something that’s not broke, right? But, after trying them, we can never go back.
The Silver Lyan in the Riggs Hotel serves up some of the best cocktails in the city (IMHO), and Mr. Lyan did not disappoint with this new menu.
The team added 11 new cocktails last week, which use some wild ingredients but don’t come off as gimmicky. I’m talking liquified bee larvae, dissolved deer antler, and iron oxide. The team also added new bar snacks (which you will need; these drinks are no joke).
My favorite was the Air Bee n Bee, which uses smoked bee larvae and almond blossoms. Another stand out is the Emu Queen highball, made with a local emu pechuga (rum distilled with emu neck meat), and mulberry soda.
The dragon eggplant and mapo tofu off of Chang Chang’s new menu. (Adam Perkins, Hey DC reader)
A little farther north, Chang Chang just traded in its upscale dinner menu for one considerably less expensive, focusing on Sichuan classics rather than experimental and fusion dishes. Hey DC reader Adam Perkins says, “The ‘mapo tofu’ may be the best in the District, and the ‘dragon eggplant’ gives some garlicky sweetness to break up the spice.” He also highly recommends the “lazi chicken,” which is lightly fried and tossed in numbing spices.
While you can still get a whole Peking duck (which Peter Chang can, and did, put his name on), the ‘duck four ways’ is now off the menu. Though sad, the new additions and more laid-back feel make up for it.
As for the spice? “It’s respectable but approachable, and not mouth-destroying,” said Perkins.
What do you think about the new menus? Are they worth the hype?