Exiting the Knitting Factory one evening, I spotted it for the first time. Despite the late hour the place was jammed with ghostly figures only half-perceived through gauzy white curtains. I followed the windows to the corner and continued down Church Street before I discovered the anonymous entrance, discreetly stenciled with a pair of red numerals. Just inside, a trio of gorgeous Asian women who might have been fashion models posed beside the reservations podium. Brashly serving Chinese food only a few blocks west of Chinatown at three times the price, 66 is French chef Jean-George Vongerichten's fifth project in the city. Rumors had been flying about staff raids on the best local Chinese joints; other scuttlebutt suggested he'd gone to Hong Kong to search for a chef. I called several times to make reservations, only to be told none were available in the foreseeable future, conveying the impression that 66 is the hottest ticket in town. But that evening I discovered it's possible to sashay in between 10 and 11 on a weeknight and take your place immediately at the walk-in... More >>>