A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from December 06, 2004
Lemon Chicken
Chinese "lemon chicken" was the specialty of Pearl's Chinese Restaurant, formerly of 148 West 48th Street. The 1969 New York Times recipe cannot be printed here in full, but it is on other web sites.

14 September 1969, New York Times, pg. SM92:
Oriental tang By CRAIG CLAIBORNE

One of the most interesting of the Chinese dishes available in Manhattan is a creation of Lee Lum, the highly skilled chef at Pearl's Chinese Restaurant at 149 West 48th Street. It is called simply Lemon Chicken and consists of boneless chicken breast, coated with water chestnut powder, crisply fried and served over crisp vegetables in a sweet and pungent lemon sauce, whose extraordinary flavor comes from the ounce of lemon extract that is added at the last moment. The recipe is given here for home cooks who would like to duplicate Lee Lum's triumph.

21 December 1969, New York Times, pg. 29:
Pearl's a Success,
Alas, for Owners
They bring friends and business associates to dine at "their" restaurant and help spread the fame of its lemon chicken and pork pancakes in dining-out circles.

11 January 1970, New York Times, pg. 253:
The taste of the year By CRAIG CLAIBORNE
...Lee Lum's lemon chicken, a recipe of the chef at Pearl's Chinese Restaurant in New York
24 September 1971, New York Times, pg. 46:
Standards at Pearl's Have Slipped a Bit
The pre-eminent specialty, lemon chicken, is not a native Chinese dish. The strong lemon taste is certainly unusual, and many people admire it, but the strips of chicken themselves, at a recent lunch, were dry.

16 October 1994, New York Times, pg. LI29:
A Successor to the Original Pearl's
Could this be the legendary Pearl, who ran her namesake restaurant on West 48th Street in Manhattan? No. We are told that Pearl is 87, retired and living in Chinatown. The ball of fire in Manhasset is Stella Kwan, who took over from Pearl in 1984, eventually moving to the Island in 1991.

21 January 1995, New York Times, pg. 12:
Pearl Wong, 86,
Restaurant Owner
In Mid-Manhattan
When the restaurant's quarters were razed for an office tower in 1973, it was moved to its current location at 38 West 48th Street, where the architectural firm of Gwathmey Siegel & Associates gave the interior a cool, sophisticated approach.

Posted by Barry Popik
Food/Drink • (0) Comments • Monday, December 06, 2004 • Permalink