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HOT DISH: Enjoy an unhurried dining experience at Ming Dynasty

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Ming Dynasty's Szechuan Style Beef.

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Christina Ruotolo

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

There was a time when an evening meal was a more formal affair. Men and women dressed for dinner, sitting together at the table through multiple-course meals served on fine china. Today, we are so busy with work, family and other responsibilities that dinner is a hurried affair. We no longer put the same value on it that we once did.

But what if you took the night off, dressed up, had a date night and didn’t let the clock or responsibility guide you? Instead, you let the food tell the story and enjoy an unhurried dining experience.

Customers can have that experience at Ming Dynasty, a restaurant that for more than 30 years has provided residents culinary delights, offering an authentic dining opportunity. Artfully decorated with ornate Chinese carvings and paintings, Ming Dynasty offers a relaxing and enjoyable dinner where you can experience the finer things in life and pretend that you are dining in a Chinese palace.

The restaurant is in the Rivergate Shopping Center, at the intersection of 10th Street and Greenville Boulevard, near East Carolina University. Ming Dynasty specializes in Mandarin, Szechuan and Cantonese dishes as well as providing gluten-free, low-fat, peanut-free and vegetarian options.

When ordering from the menu, try to step away from the traditional. New dishes allow you to explore the many flavors and spices that make up Chinese entrees. Be adventurous, and immerse yourself in another country and culture. Begin by ordering the popular and tasty Crab Rangoon. This is a traditional Chinese dish that is so tasty, it’s addictive. These fried wonton purses are filled with sweetened cream cheese mixed with cooked crab meat and fried to a golden brown deliciousness. They are crunchy, sweet and creamy, the perfect appetizer to start your meal off right for just $5.25 for eight pieces.

Next, add a little spice by selecting the flavorful Szechuan Style Beef. Szechuan beef is a stir-fry dish that originated in the Sichuan province in China. It consists of beef cut into thin strips that is marinated before being stir-fried with an assortment of vegetables and topped with a spicy and intense brown sauce. Ming Dynasty’s version is mixed with carrots, celery, onions and Chinese hot peppers. The beef is tender and peppery, with a crispy bite from the celery and carrots, all brought together with an intense and flavorful sauce that is smokey, spicy and has a hint of sweet from the onions. This is the perfect dish for people who crave spice and intensity. This dish pairs beautifully with a bold, full-bodied Cabernet or Merlot. It’s priced at $10.50.

If you want date night to sizzle without the spice, try a healthy crowd favorite, Moo Goo Gai Pan. This is a Cantonese-inspired dish that meets most people’s craving for lighter dinner choices by utilizing basic staples and healthier sauces. Ming Dynasty’s dish is prepared using lean white-meat chicken chunks sauteed with snow pea pods, sliced carrots and sliced mushrooms and then tossed in a delicate white sauce made with chicken broth. It’s the perfect choice for those seeking heart-healthy dishes that are flavorful and filling.

Frequent dinner patrons Nash Love and his wife, Marilyn, are fans of this particular dish and are always “impressed with the food and atmosphere that Ming Dynasty offers.” This dish costs $8.95 and pairs wonderfully with a smooth and mellow chardonnay or a sweet Moscato white wine.

Ming Dynasty is open from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 4-9 p.m. Mondays-Thursdays, with hours extended to 10 p.m. on Fridays. Weekend hours are 4-10 p.m. Saturday and noon to 3 p.m. and 4-9 p.m. Sunday. The weekday lunch buffet ($9.95) is available from 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.

If you don’t have time for the unhurried dining experience but still want to satisfy your craving for authentic Chinese food, a take-out service is available. Call 752-7111 to order or go online to www.mingdynastygreenville.com.

Nibbles

■ Pitt Street Brewing Company is now open at 630 S. Pitt St. It opens at noon daily. Call 227-4157.

■ Mr. Tim’s Texas Sized Comfort Food has closed its Mumford Road location and plans to open a new location in Washington, N.C. soon.

Bone Appetit

The Humane Society of Eastern Carolina (HSEC) will host a Bone Appetit fundraising event Sept. 10 at Texas Roadhouse, 720 S.W. Greenville Blvd. Ten percent of all food and drink sales will be donated to HSEC. Write “for HSEC” on the receipt and alert the server. Visit www.hsecarolina.com.

Send information for Hot Dish to hotdish@reflector.com.

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