“I didn’t realize so many people would come so early,” said Eva Chow as guests poured through the door of her husband’s namesake eatery a few minutes after 8 o’clock. But it was a party-packed night, and they wanted to come by to pay their respects for the 30th anniversary of the iconic Chinese restaurant.
Mischa Barton, Mary Boone, Marjorie Gubelman, Thakoon Panichgul and artists Terrence Koh and Andres Serrano were among those who crammed into the place, along with a host of restaurant regulars. Guests seemed focused on one thing: chasing down waiters bearing trays of hors d’oeuvres versions of Chow staples like chicken satay, fried lobster, oysters in the shell and plenty of dumplings, as those at the balcony bar looked on.
“Wait, you mean I have to go down to the dance floor to get something to eat?” said Jefferson Hack, who was hanging out with Andre and Purple’s Olivier Zahm. (He didn’t — luckily a waiter swooped to the rescue with prawn toasts.)
Meanwhile, Brooke Shields was reliving history. “Keith Haring took me to dinner and we sat right there,” she said, pointing to a corner banquette. “He gave me a painting. It was the last time I ever saw him.”
“I remember Paul McCartney banging out ‘Back in the USSR’ on a table right after he wrote the song,” said Michael Chow, who also fondly reminisced about Mae West, Andy Warhol and the many hip-hop artists who made the restaurant their clubhouse.
“My original vision was to promote Chinese culture, and make sure that the Chinese people are represented well,” explained Michael Chow. “Fortunately, it’s been a big hit.”
And until Dec. 15, every table of diners will get a free bottle of Laurent Perrier rosé Champagne to celebrate it.