Grilled duck breast with plum wine sauce is an off-the-menu, VIP item.
European-inspired interior design combined with authentic flavors teleports diners of Red Peony, Connie Zhang’s newest Midtown restaurant, to the old Shanghai of the 1910s. Spread across two floors and hosting 75 seatings, the contemporary restaurant specializes in elegant Shanghai cuisine (also known as Benbang cuisine). Owner of the popular Flushing-based Royal Queen, Zhang dives into Manhattan’s food scene. The female restaurateur aims to reconnect with the local community by creating a go-to spot for diners and revitalizing the space that had previously been occupied by Joe’s Shanghai, the well-known restaurant brand serving soup dumplings. Named after the Chinese national flower also referred to as “the king of the flowers,” Red Peony merges comfort with high-quality flavors in offering a primarily Benbang-centric cuisine along with a selection of Sichuan and Cantonese dishes. The kitchen, run by former kitchen employees from Joe’s Shanghai, features menu items ranging from home-style to signature dishes. The Midtown eatery’s menu offers pan-fried sausage tulip cake, Shanghai-style flat noodles with pork, smoked fish and Benbang bean curd. Specialty items on the menu include lobster with ginger scallion sauce, Peking duck, braised sea cucumber in pumpkin soup, the Lion’s Head (stewed pork meatballs) and spare ribs in the old-fashioned Benbang style. 24 W. 56th St., redpeonyrestaurant.com