New Fortune

$$$$ ($14 and under)

Editorial Review

Remember those all-nighter munchies only a trip to Chinatown could satisfy? Roast duck in the window, lobsters and crabs jousting in tanks, whole crispy fish, huge bowls of soup . . . Well, yearn no longer. Chinatown has come to Gaithersburg in the form of the large (it used to be a Rite-Aid), accomplished and late-operating (till 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays, till 1 a.m. every other night) New Fortune, sibling to the acclaimed Good Fortune in Wheaton. The menu is so huge it has chapter tabs, and even at that, standard dishes, such as fried and steamed dumplings, only squeeze in as pictures. The various Chinese "barbecues," really roasted pork and duck, etc, are available as appetizers that could serve as whole meals. This is serious Hong Kong-style stuff -- including hot pots and casseroles, frog (in several versions), sea cucumber, abalone, conch, fish maw (throat), tripe, oysters -- all listed in English as well as Chinese. Don't be shy about asking for advice or for something that isn't on the menu; this is one ambitious kitchen.

Already the crowd mix is encouraging -- heavily Chinese but definitely multi-culti. Dim sum is available every day at lunch. And you may well have a little free costume entertainment if a Chinese wedding party appears.

-- Eve Zibart