Potluck Club, the popular Cantonese American restaurant, that, last week, gained a nod from Michelin, is expanding with a new spot. The team has signed onto a new space at 85 Bowery, near Hester Street, on the Lower East Side.
Co-owner Cory Ng says a forthcoming sister restaurant, Phoenix Palace, is aiming to open by the end of 2023: “Phoenix Palace will serve dishes that do not necessarily fit on the Potluck Club menu,” he says. The menu might include various “Cantonese tapas” with natural wine — dishes like a “Chinese charcuterie board” that Potluck Club had first experimented with when it opened. There will be over 60 seats.
Ng and his partner Zhan Chen opened the Potluck Club in 2022, with the mission of keeping Chinatown’s spirit alive, yet remixed for the next generation. The team are all Chinatown natives. Ng even married into “Chinatown royalty,”; his spouse’s family are the owners of Great NY Noodletown (his businesses operate separately).
Potluck Club is the team’s first restaurant. In its short time, it has reached national acclaim, recently receiving a review from New York Times’ Pete Wells, who commended chef Zhan Chen, his brother, and sous chef, Peter Chen, for the menu’s mix of tradition and modernity.
In an early review, Eater critic Robert Sietsema said the restaurant is leading the conversation in a new wave of Cantonese restaurants in the city, joining hot spots like Bonnie’s in Williamsburg.
“There’s not any places that open in Chinatown. If anything, after the pandemic, a lot more closed than opened, and essentially we felt like there was a vacuum that needed to be filled,” Chen said in an interview with ABC7 News last winter. “Chinatown, some people will say, it’s aging out. That’s why we wanted to continue doing business here, creating new energy here.”
Before opening Potluck Club, Ng and Chen opened dessert spot Milk and Cream, which has grown to several locations throughout the city and New Jersey.