Thursday, October 21, 2010

In memoriam: Silk Road Palace

Rumor came down on Tuesday that Silk Road Palace had closed, a claim that has since been confirmed via Chowhound. For reasons not yet made clear, the patrons simply closed up shop, shipped out the contents, and sailed westward to the Grey Havens.

SRP, known to many as "Chinawine," was a sanctuary for everyone from college students to recent college graduates. Before you could even pretend to reach for a government-issued ID, Jimmy and his tireless crew would fill your plastic glass with white wine Franzia. This intoxicating nectar would flow in a ceaseless stream as bowls of Chinese chips and salsa (wontons and duck sauce) were presented. Whether you ordered was Eight Flavors Delicious or Brown Sauce Vegetables, it all tasted the same and it all tasted good.

I say these things not in jest, but from a genuine feeling of loss. On my first visit to Chinawine I was treated to a standing ovation, a gesture which spread to the other tables. The feeling of camaraderie there was infectious, the sense of goodwill unsurpassed anywhere in this city. I know that in time I'll adjust to The Cottage, but for the moment, we mourn the passing of this noble establishment. It's in that spirit which raise a glass of boxed wine to you, Silk Road Palace. Godspeed.

2 comments:

John said...

a friend who was a page for Letterman turned me onto Chinawine just over a year ago. Though i was only able to make it out there once, it became somewhat of a legend back here in Detroit.

God Bless you Chinawine, you were all that was still right with this country; a beacon of hope in a society otherwise torn apart and severely lacking free-wine themed Chinese restaurants.

Crist said...

I agree- Chinawine (UWS) was a huge deal in Detroit/University of Michigan. Whenever anyone went to the NYC, Chinawine was always on the intermarry. After moving to the city for a summer and spending countless nights eating Beef & Broccoli and consuming bottomless Fran, I can honestly say that some of my best memories of New York occurred in the mirrored dining room of SRP. The staff, food and wine were all charming. I wish I knew why the restaurant closed down- there was ALWAYS a long wait to get in.

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