Macao Trading Co.
311 Church Street
New York, NY 10013-2491
I’ve heard so much about the Macao Trading Co. since its opening, and once I found out the uber-cool Employees Only team (Jason Kosmas, Dushan Zaric, Igor Hadzismajlovic, Billy Gilroy and Henry LaFargue) was behind it, my curiosity was peaked. The food concept behind Macao is taken from it's geographical namesake, a former Portuguese trading region in China. When you walk in you feel like you are in an dimly lit export/import warehouse. The menu is an eclectic combo of Chinese and Portuguese dishes with an inspired cocktail menu.
As I sat at the bar waiting for my amigo, I fell in love with my first cocktail: the Bashful Maiden (gin, elderflower liquor, melon, lemon juice). I’m not a gin drinker, but I’ve realized that when mixed properly, it’s delish. This drink was refreshing, like a melon smoothie. I also tried the Drunken Dragon’s Milk (coconut puree, vodka, bitters) that oddly reminded me of iced tea with milk in it—in a good way. I ate the octopus salad, jade dumplings, mushroom & truffle croquettes, and a sirloin with blue-cheese butter and spinach. Unfortunately, I’ve mentioned all the dishes in one sentence because none were quite worthy or memorable enough to warrant a ton of detail. Don't get me wrong, nothing was terrible; but the food was just OK and for the steep prices Macao charges, I was left wanting a lot more flavor that I got.
The fabulous cocktails and the ambiance of Macao make it worthy of another visit. My advice? Sit at the bar, order some small bites and a whole lot of drinks, and find a cute boy (or bartender) to flirt with.