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Not only does New York City produce some of the finest chefs in the United States, it has also become the testing ground for those who have made it big in other markets and want to step out onto the world culinary stage. One such striver is Paul Donnelly, a Scotsman who gained prominence in Australia for his way with Cantonese and Szechuan fare—a singular path if there ever was one. His food isn't strictly authentically Chinese but it certainly is toothsome, with quirky takes on smashed cucumber salad that will send rivulets of Szechuan chili oil running down your tongue; and a fried eggplant with caramel sauce that is almost sweet enough for dessert (and tremendously addictive). Other signature dishes include a fish oil-infused beef tartare with Thai prawn crackers; sashimi-style tuna salad; and surprisingly crisp-edged pork buns. All this is served in a grand sunken dining room with a soaring ceiling, bricked arch walls, and lots of potted plants. The space is richly evocative, as it should be: It was a Chinese opera house until a notorious gang shooting closed the place down in 1905. Take a group so you can try a number of dishes on the menu.