Celebrate the Chinese New Year

Toast your own good fortune at a Chinese New Year feast.

CHINESE NEW YEAR IS ONE BIG 15-DAY celebration complete with gifts, fireworks, fresh starts, and plenty of good food, Get in on the run at one of these local favorite restaurants.

August Moon offers a 10-course banquet for 10 or more at two of its locations from January 23 to February 5. The menu features such traditional fare as golden scallops, shitake mushrooms, king crab velvet, Peking Duck in Chinese crepes, and whole snapper in Hunan sauce. Colorful lion dancers add to the festivities (call individual restaurants for dates and times). The banquet is $25 per person. 15030 Preston Road at Belt Line, 214-385-7227; 2300 North Central Expressway at Park Boulevard in Piano, 214-881-0071.

Cafe Panda offers a mini-banquet for two or more at $15.95 per person, featuring either steamed fish or the restaurant’s spicy Szechuan dishes. For larger parties, have a made-to-order banquet, available with one week’s notice (price based on menu selections). Try such spe-cialties as “quail curl” {minced quail in lettuce cups), tangy seafood chowder, and sweet and sour tangerine beef. Festive finishing touches include a tableside tea ceremony and fried ice cream for dessert, along with a fortune cookie. 7979 Inwood at Lovers Lane, 214-902-9500.

Uncle Tai’s Hunan Yuan is a stylish restaurant on the third floor of the Galleria, complete with valet parking and a tony menu. Here you can opt for a spectacular New Year’s feast in the $30-$40 range and beyond, with three days’ notice, or for a $25 pick-of-the-menu banquet, no advance notice needed. This Hunan-style restaurant is known for its dishes with venison, pheasant, and giant Gulf shrimp in chili sauce. 13350 Dallas Parkway at LBJ, Dallas, 214-934-9998.

Henry Chen’s features entrees in the $7.50 to $8.25 price range. Choose orange beef, gingered pork, giant shrimp steamed with minced garlic, or moo shu pork. Or try one of the perfectly prepared vegetable dishes. Chiliheads will appreciate the items marked with hot peppers: curry chicken, Kung Po shrimp, Hunan beef, hot and spicy fish fillets, and eight-treasures stuffed duck. 3701 West Northwest Highway Suite 180 (at Marsh Lane), 214-956-9560. There’s a second Henry Chens (different owner, menu similar but geared toward takeout) in Coppell at 820 MacArthur Boulevard, Suite 112 at Belt Line Road, 214-393-0415.

If you’d rather a choice than chance (not everybody loves the pickled jelly-fish that is a traditional part of a New Year’s banquet), celebrate instead at one of these buffet restaurants planning special dishes to honor 4693, the Year of the Pig:

● General China, 1920 Skillman, 214-827-3688. Lunch and dinner buffets daily.

● Hunan, 5214 Greenville, 214-369-4578. Lunch and dinner buffets daily.

● Ming Garden, 17370 Preston, 214-713-0123. 2205 North Central Expressway. Piano, 214-516-0770. Lunch and dinner buffets daily.

● Szechwan Pavilion, 7402 Greenville, 214-369-9822. Lunch and dinner buffets daily.

● Texas Jade, 3232 McKinney, 214-871-8898. Lunch buffets weekdays; big brunch on Sunday featuring favorites plus hot and spicy Szechuan and Hunan choices.

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