The restaurant sign displaying two gigantic red chilies stopped me in my tracks. Could it be? Yes, it was—a proper Sichuan restaurant, opened in March, on Brooklyn's Eighth Avenue Chinatown stretch. The neighborhood is home to fantastic hand-pulled noodle joints, Cantonese dim sum and seafood palaces, and Taiwanese bakeries, but had previously been completely deficient in the chile-oil-slicked pleasures of Sichuan cuisine. Metro Café fills that gap, but along with a selection of about 20 Sichuan dishes, the menu also lists an odd assortment of grilled skewers, a large selection of Japanese snacks, and a grilled T-bone special, the kind that you might find at a diner in Kansas. "Not everyone likes spicy," explained the friendly proprietor, an energetic businesswoman. She told me that the skewers are popular Beijing-style street food and that the Japanese items are there to lure in tea-time (or beer-time) late-afternoon snackers. She had previously worked at a Japanese restaurant in Whitestone, and her husband is a chef specializing in Sichuan cuisine (their families come from the province), so the restaurant's multi-culti approach actually makes perfect sense. Predictably, though, the Sichuan dishes are the best—and... More >>>