A popular Barrington restaurant is making it easy to welcome the Chinese New Year this weekend and my mouth is watering just thinking about the festive menu and fun specials they’ve lined up. The Chinese New Year officially starts on Monday, January 23rd, but they’ll be celebrating all weekend long at Pl8 Simply Asian with food and wine tastings, lucky surprises and symbolic menu specials to mark the Year of the Dragon.
They have a lot to celebrate at Pl8 Simply Asian in the new year. The restaurant is about to mark its first anniversary since they opened for business in Barrington. In the past year, Pl8 has built a great reputation for creating a whole new trend in Asian cuisine with an imaginative menu of classic Chinese dishes plus Japanese kitchen creations and sushi. Are you hungry yet? If not, read on for details about the special holiday menu that they’re serving as we speak…
Before I get to the menu, I want to make sure to mention something super cool that’s happening at Pl8 TONIGHT. If you want to get lucky, here’s your ticket!
Traditional Chinese Lion Dance: Friday, January 20
The Chinese Lion dance is said to bring happiness and luck and scare off any evil. Guests will witness the spread of fortune and wealth when Chicago Chinese Cultural Center performers present the sacred tradition. The dance begins at 6:30 p.m. at Pl8.
If you can’t make tonight’s Lion Dance, don’t worry. Pl8 has more ways to get lucky planned for tomorrow and Sunday.
Feeling Lucky Weekend: Saturday, January 21 and Sunday, January 22
The number eight is significant in the Chinese culture because when translated it sounds like “good luck.” Guests who join Pl8 Saturday and Sunday will receive lucky red envelopes, traditionally given to children from their parents for good luck, with a chance to win PL8 gift certificates and a special dinner for 8 people. In addition to the red envelopes, on Sunday, any guests born in the “Year of the Dragon” will receive $8 off their final bill.
So were you born in the Year of the Dragon? You were if your birthday falls within the ranges on this chart from Wikipedia:
- 16 February 1904 – 3 February 1905: Wood Dragon
- 3 February 1916 – 22 January 1917: Fire Dragon
- 23 January 1928 – 9 February 1929: Earth Dragon
- 8 February 1940 – 26 January 1941: Metal Dragon
- 27 January 1952 – 13 February 1953: Water Dragon
- 13 February 1964 – 1 February 1965: Wood Dragon
- 31 January 1976 – 17 February 1977: Fire Dragon
- 17 February 1988 – 5 February 1989: Earth Dragon
- 5 February 2000 – 23 January 2001: Metal Dragon
- 23 January 2012 – 9 February 2013: Water Dragon
- 10 February 2024 – 28 January 2025: Wood Dragon
Now to the symbolic special menu. The selections were creatively crafted to bring you wealth and good luck, liveliness and bounty and a long life. I’ll have one of everything, please!
- Jaoizi Dumplings $7 – Filled with shrimp, crabmeat, garlic, ginger, napa cabbage shiitake mushrooms and Shaoxing wine; steamed and served with a Black Vinegar dipping sauce. Boiled Dumplings: considered to usher in wealth and good luck.
- Salt and Pepper Shrimp $8 – Shrimp are wok tossed with a special salt and pepper spice mix; served with sliced red and green bell peppers and Chinese parsley. Shrimp: said to signify liveliness and bounty.
- Tangerine Chicken $14 – Marinated in a coconut batter, wok crisped and topped with a house-made tangerine sauce; served with candied tangerine peels and fresh citrus. Tangerines and Pommelos: displayed in homes and stores to bring good luck and wealth.
- Long Life Noodles $13 – White Marble Farms all natural pork braised with star anise, rock sugar, soy, ginger root and orange peel; shredded and tossed with fresh wheat noodles, Shanghai bok choy and fresh shiitake mushrooms. Noodles: to ensure a long life.
- Whole Crispy Fish $24 – Red Grouper served whole, deep fried and served with a spicy red chile sweet and sour sauce. Fish: a common staple in the Chinese diet and a central dish during the New Year.
- Chocolate Treasure Molten Cake $6 – Rich chocolate cake topped with candied tangerine segments, tangerine sauce and pomelo whipped cream. Tangerines and Pomelos: displayed in homes and stores to bring good luck and wealth.
So grab your phone and call Pl8 for a reservation before it’s too late. You can reach them by phone at 847-382-1988, make a reservation online by clicking HERE or read more on their website at Pl8SimplyAsian.com and you’ll find Pl8 at the Foundry, 736 W. Northwest Highway in Barrington.