click image for slideshow
Wonderful Chinese-American food served up by a married couple who spent time as expats in China. The space is warm and cozy with a small bar specializing in tiki-inspired cocktails. All the dishes are fresh with quality ingredients but we keep coming back for the crispy garlic chicken which is one of our favorite dishes, well anywhere.
The best thing on the menu is “crispy garlic chicken” ($24), a half bird with skin like a copper-colored potato chip that seems to float above the tender flesh. It rests in a generous pool of the restaurant’s soy sauce, which has been laced with honey. “My bees made that honey in Pennsylvania,” Young told me one evening. The marriage of East and West is subtle and terrific. There are some misfires, too. Sichuan marinated duck ($13) isn’t the tea-smoked whole specimen you might expect, but a wok-seared breast that rests upon a sprout salad laced with smoldering fresh chiles and sided with the scallion-ginger relish that usually accompanies Cantonese charcuterie. This trans-regional assortment seems like three separate and unrelated dishes.
This is a modern, incredibly satisfying approach to classic Chinese cooking with excellent takes on everything from dumplings both long and soupy, to spring rolls, to crispy garlic chicken, to mu shu duck. On top of excellent food, Kings County is a fun place to hang out: they make great cocktails, and also have a nice outdoor/patio situation for warmer months. Dim sum brunch al fresco? We’re in.
Local ingredients go into the “delicious”, “eclectic” Chinese fare at this “lively” Williamsburg hangout, where a “warm” crew serves family-style plates and tiki-inspired cocktails; decked in mahogany, the “cool” digs feature red booths, a curved bar and laser-cut light boxes with vintage Chinese landscapes.
The second restaurant from Tracy Jane Young and Josh Grinker (the first is Stone Park Cafe, in Park Slope), Kings County Imperial is the result of the couple’s long romance with Chinese cooking, and their time spent traveling throughout that country, particularly in the central region. The menu doesn’t strive for “authenticity,” and offers both familiar dishes as well as interpretations from all over the cuisine, but there’s no mistaking the emotional connection between the food on your plate and the people who made it for you.