One of the finest and friendliest Chinese restauarants in the area is Red Tea House, formerly Sichuan House, Virginia Manor Shopping Center, Mount Lebanon, which is anchored by Giant Eagle.
The restaurant is attractive and comfortable, and was recently renovated with the addition of a sushi bar. This arrangement works out beautifully for me and my wife as I love Chinese food while she favors sushi.
For those that wish to consume alcohol with their meal, the restaurant is perfect. It is Bring Your Own Bottle and there is no corkage fee. In addition to providing corkage, the staff will cheerfully provide wine and/or beer glasses and will be glad to heat sake. It is also notable that the restaurant offers its regular menu with no premium prices on holidays, including Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year's Eve, and New Year's Day.
Prices were recently increased, but remain less than the more popular Sesame Inn chain. The food at Sesame Inn is excellent, but the staff there has never made me feel like a valued customer. Perhaps the experience of other Sesame Inn diners is different.
There are vegetarian options in both Chinese food and sushi. A small bowl of crispy fried noodles is brought to the table along with water and a pot of hot tea. The noodles are no doubt quite unhealthful, but delicious and irresistible. The egg rolls offered at Red Tea House are my favorite of any Chinese restaurant at which I have dined, and both shrimp and vegetable egg rolls are offered. They are large, plump, crispy and melt in one's mouth. There is a huge selection of poultry, beef, pork, duck, vegetarian, noodle, and rice dishes and a host of appetizers and soups. The chicken velvet corn soup is soothing and delicious.
One of my favorite dishes is Buddha's Delight with tofu, which is a large portion of a vegetable medley sauteed in a tasty brown sauce. It is currently priced at $10.50 for the vegetable dish plus $1.00 for the addition of tofu. Most chicken dishes are $11.00. The restaurant is accommodating of special requests and will prepare whatever the customer wishes if it has the ingredients.
The friendly and efficient staff is presided over by host Chen, a delightful, pleasant, and charming man who goes out of his way to cater to the customer and to make the guest feel welcome and appreciated. Chen does whatever is necessary to keep the restaurant moving: taking orders, bringing food to the table, clearing plates, even handling delivery. Chen's sons serve as waiters and generally do a fine job, as do all of the employees. One can count on quality checks during the meal from the serves and from Chen when is in the dining room.
My wife and I wanted to enjoy Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve with our favorite Asian food and warm, gracious people, thus we dined both evenings at Red Tea House. We were not disappointed in the least and despite both of these nights being busy, we were catered to as always.
The only flaw, and it is a minor one, is that when one individual orders sushi and the other a Chinese dish, the sushi will generally come to the table first, several minutes before the Chinese food.
I highly recommend my favorite Asian restaurant in the region, Red Tea House!
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