Beverage Director Jeff Hammett has created an interesting bar menu, including specialty cocktails and a selection of wine and beer. We sat in the bar area and ordered drinks while waiting for our table to clear. I had the Texas tiki cocktail, a gin-based drink accented with avocado and jalapeño simple syrup. It was very smooth and a nice compliment to the food. My husband and oldest son had beer, while and my other son had a glass of Reisling. Once our drinks arrived, we were seated in the main dining room. Our engaged server explained that plates are served family style, and the chefs use organic and locally sourced ingredients when possible. I was happy to learn that gluten-free options abound, and our server brought me a menu denoting the few items that were not gluten-free for reference. We started with Sichuan Spicy Pickles, sliced, fresh mini cucumbers that were sweet, crisp, with a hint of spice. Next up came the Pork Steamed Dumplings (4 to an order) and Chicken & Taro Eggrolls (3 to an order), neither of which are gluten-free. I was told both items were delicious. The Sichuan Braised Eggplant was accompanied by a healthy portion of steamed white rice (you have a choice of brown rice as well). The eggplant was tender and sweet with just enough spice from the sauce to raise an eyebrow. If you need more heat, a container of the house Sichuan Chili Oil is provided on the table's lazy susan and should do the trick. The Tangerine Peel Beef was a hit with everyone. You can taste all the element of the sauce when biting into a piece of the citrus peel. The kitchen had an extra order of the Bok Choy with Mushrooms (not gluten-free), so our server graciously brought it to our table. It was polished off quickly with nods and smiles. The Salt & Pepper Squid was probably the table favorite. There were several pieces of tender squid with a crispy, perfectly seasoned taro root outer coating. The well presented Seafood Bird's Nest was an assortment of squid, shrimp, scallops, carrots, and snow peas nestled in a crispy rice noddle nest on top of a bed of red cabbage. We were encouraged to eat the nest and we devoured most of it.
For dessert my sons split the Green Tea Chocolate Cake. Desserts are provided by Delish Bakery, owned by Lisa Matulis-Thomajan, wife of Wu Chow co-owner Stuart Thomajan. Delish does have some gluten-free items at their bakery, but this cake is not one of them, so I was unable to indulge. I was told it was very rich and moist with a subtle back note of green tea. I think Wu Chow has filled a void in our city. It provides a place to try authentic, organic, locally sourced Chinese food in a well-designed downtown space with committed service. Valet parking is available, but we had no trouble finding street parking a block away. My entire family is looking forward to our return trip.