Toy Restaurant
Spicy Beef and Scallion Dumplings

While the Meatpacking District hasn?t exactly been on our short list of dining destinations in recent years, we?re happy to report that a new pan-Asian eatery, Toy, lured us back for a surprising midweek treat.

As to be expected when adjacent to Hotel Gansevoort, the restaurant?s interior, outfitted in black lacquer and geometric mirrors, reads sleek and edgy, but it?s the origami-inspired food presentation that really steals the show.

A re-imagined dim sum menu made quite the first impression on us with lobster dumplings topped with crispy rice noodles ($15), spicy beef and scallion dumplings ($14) and flaky, cream-filled sesame puffs ($11). Next up, the small plate we tried was anything but: The spicy tuna toro ($17) is actually a fantastically large sushi roll. Then, if you haven?t filled up on all the starters, we suggest trying either the caramelized black cod ($26) or crispy Peking duck ($68), which serves two people comfortably, to round out the evening.

Full disclosure: The space does take a turn to a nightlife scene at about 10 p.m., so your best bet is to score a reservation on the earlier side. But we promise the food is worth the trip across the cobblestones.

18 Ninth Ave. (at 13th St.); 212-203-5422 or toyrestaurant.com

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