One of Queens’ most highly regarded Sichuan restaurants has made its way to Manhattan. Grain House — a Littleneck restaurant that Eater critic Robert Sietsema awarded three stars in a 2016 review — opened an outpost on the Upper West Side this week at 929 Amsterdam Ave., between West 105th and 106th streets.
Owner Beichen Hu opened the first location in eastern Queens a couple years ago after graduating from Stony Brook University, where he operated a take-out restaurant for students here from mainland China. It was popular, so he decided to get into the restaurant business full-time, he tells Eater. He brought on chef Yong Chen, who’s also from China, and quickly attracted an audience of fellow Chinese immigrants living in the area. He opened a second location in Long Island last year.
Hu expanded to the area just south of Columbia University specifically because so many students there travel to Queens to eat at Grain House. This one, with just over 20 seats, is much smaller, but serves many of the same popular dishes like burning noodles and pork in garlic sauce. It also adds new dishes such as beef and sour cabbage sauce, Chiba tofu with pork belly, and ChongQing stew chicken. See the full menu here.
Sichuan fanatics take note: In Sietsema’s review, he said that Grain House packs in spice and peppercorn more than other Sichuan restaurants around town. The restaurant also joins a host of other Chinese restaurants targeting immigrant students in the area, including the four-star 108 Food Dried Hot Pot and a variety of food carts near the university.
But the restaurant may be duplicating elsewhere soon, too. Hu is eyeing new locations in Jericho on Long Island and near New York University, again anticipating both Chinese immigrant families and students as diners. Stay tuned for more.
Grain House on the UWS is now open from 11:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.