All restaurants are made for eating; some are made for dining (allow the distinction); and some seem purpose-made for feasting. Home is the latter sort, and we were very fortunate to number among the nearly 20 guests of a handsome young Yankee bar manager who decided that the dishes at Home were simply too good not to be shared. This impromptu, informal banquet (apropos of nothing whatsoever, it seems) allowed us to sample slightly more dishes than we likely could have done with our standard threesome, a stroke of good luck, therefore, for our readers too. We will be back for more, and you’re advised herewith to put Home on your must-do list. It is that good.
The owner, Wood, and the management hail from Xinjiang, and it happened that one of our dining companions (Emma) is herself a native of the satrapy formerly known as Chinese East Turkestan. Not merely a guide to the dishes, she was also an impartial auditor of their authenticity.
So, is this the real McCoy? You bet.
The themes and flavors characteristic of this interesting culinary genre made for a pleasant respite from the sweets and sours of local kitchens, or the ma la we love best when seasonal low temperatures drive us to our favorite hot pots. As was expected, lamb featured prominently, as did the tastes of cumin, black pepper, and those spices associated with the distinctly Muslim cookery of Altaic-language speakers east of the Levant. That said, nothing bullied the palate into either submission or ennui, and the range of tastes and tones achieved was, frankly, quite remarkable. It speaks volumes about the skills of the chef and crew that the lamb never tasted exactly the same in any of the many dishes in which it played either a starring or supporting role; and it is happily noteworthy, too, that though this is a heavy fare by nature (roasted meats, potatoes, nan breads, dumplings, rices, noodles), no item was indelicate, no rendering unsubtle. The portions were as generous as our host, and every savory scrap that wasn’t consumed in situ was joyfully carted away.
It was one of our favorite meals of 2014 so far.
Parking theoretically available by or near the restaurant, but the actual availability of spaces on any given day or night cannot be guaranteed or predicted in advance. Credit cards accepted. Smoking throughout. There are smaller tables for parties of three or four, but the restaurant seems geared towards parties of four and up. This should not discourage couples, but note that the mis en scene is more convivial than intimate. Bilingual menu with photos.