Five Happiness has been open for more than 30 years and recently underwent renovation, making it a sleek and elegant place to dine. Rose Lo, one of the primary owners of Five Happiness, says “The cooking style is called Sichuan and Hunan,. Its emphasis is on lots of spices.”
There are also a few favorite dishes from Five Happiness: shrimp with honey roasted pecans; General’s chicken; and asparagus sautéed with garlic sauce are some of the few dishes that are ordered consistently throughout the year.
For family gatherings of 50 or more, the Imperial Room can be booked ranging from $20-$45 per person, either for sit down or buffet-style dinners with hors d’oeuvres. This holiday season, Five Happiness is having a special gift certificate promotion: every $100 spent on gift certificates receives a $20 gift certificate. It is also open for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Information, 2605 S. Carrollton Ave., 482-3935; fivehappiness.com.
For those who crave late-night fine dining on the Avenue, along the streetcar line is Hoshun, which is open until 2 a.m., offering classic Asian dishes with a modern flair. The restaurant is run by Steve Ho and Alice Ho, who say that there’s a friendly, elegant atmosphere with unmatched cuisine.
Hoshun also hosts a happy hour from 3 to 6 p.m., which is convenient for those who either want to call it an early night or head downtown afterward. The owners recommend dining in the banquet room on the second floor; the balcony is also a don’t-miss sight.
Some of the signature dishes to try include the Hoshun Delight entrée, an all white-meat chicken with scallops and veggies. The Caterpillar Roll is also a favorite among sushi-lovers; it is made up of smoked salmon, barbecue eel, tempura batter, cucumbers and cream cheese, all topped with avocado.
Information, 1601 St. Charles Ave., 302-9716
– Mallory Lindsly
After working in restaurants for others, chef Dave Gotter decided it was time to branch out and open his own restaurant. Gott Gourmet began as a catering business in January 2006, which Gotter describes as “specialized catering and private chef services.”
In October of 2007, the search for a permanent location began, and Gott Gourmet Cafe opened in 2008. The small cafe leans heavily on “homemade, fresh and unique” ingredients, and Gotter takes pride in his sauces, soups, marinades and dressings, serving up casual food in a relaxed atmosphere.
Among the many tempting offerings, chef Gotter says his personal favorite is the Shrimp BLT Wrap, an engaging combination of spicy, sweet and savory: Tobasco butter sauteed shrimp, fresh mozzarella, apple-smoked bacon, avocado, roasted red peppers, chili aioli and baby greens.
This holiday season, don’t miss out on their many fall specialties, like the Roasted Butternut Squash Soup. Gott Gourmet Café also does gift cards, so stock up early for loved ones.
Information, 3100 Magazine St., 373.6579.
– Lilith Dorko