10 great places to welcome prosperity

Say goodbye to the Year of the Rat (2008) and celebrate strength in the Year of the Ox with a Chinese New Year feast on Jan. 26. Master chef Martin Yan, host of Yan Can Cook (yancancook.com) and a professional cooking instructor, has written 30 cookbooks. He shares his list of places to welcome prosperity with Kathy Baruffi for USA TODAY.

Koi PalaceDaly City, Calif. "When it is Chinese New Year, booking a table at a good teahouse is a top priority for Cantonese families," Yan says. Order the dim sum at this teahouse, which reminds Yan of one in his Canton hometown. "You can choose top-quality teas to go with your dim sum, or order dishes that are typical of Southern China." 650-992-9000; koipalace.com

YangmingBryn Mawr, Pa. "Chef Michael Wei's restaurant has great Peking duck," Yan says. The restaurant has dedicated customers who often request favorite waiters and tables. A big party, including the festive "Lion Dance," is planned for Jan. 27. 610-527-3200; yangmingrestaurant.com

Fung's KitchenHouston "If you like seafood, this is the place to go," Yan says. "Fresh live seafood, including Alaska king crab, Australian egg crab, New Zealand mussels, as well as Maine and Pacific lobster, is served here." During Chinese New Year's, Fung's serves traditional dishes said to provide "good fortunes and wealth to every generation" in the new year. 713-779-2288; eatatfungs.com

Bo Ling'sKansas City, Mo. Bo Ling's has been providing authentic Chinese food in America's heartland for more than 30 years. "The food is always fresh and good," Yan says. Owner Richard Ng has six locations throughout the greater Kansas City area. 816-753-1718; bolings.com

Grand SichuanNew York "For anyone who loves hot and spicy dishes, this is a great choice for an authentic Sichuan experience in the Big Apple," Yan says. There are three Manhattan locations. Among the authentic choices at the newest one on Seventh Avenue: Sichuan Wonton in Chili Oil, Ma Po Tofu and Sichuan Cold Noodles. 212-645-0222; thegrandsichuan.com

Empress Dim Sum Seafood RestaurantDenver "In southern China, we celebrate the Chinese New Year by roasting a whole pig and sharing it with our neighbors and relatives," Yan says. "Here, the roast pork is from a whole pig roasted in-house, making Empress a truly unique dining experience." 303-922-2822; empressseafoodrestaurant.com

Chef Lee's Peking RestaurantColumbus, Ga. "Mongolian Beef is one of the best-selling dishes on the menu," Yan says. "But chef/owner Joe Lee's hand-pulled noodles win my vote, hands down. He is a master noodle chef — a rare find these days." The elegant restaurant has dining rooms with large windows and a view of their beautiful garden. 706-653-8888

East Restaurant & LoungeWells, Maine "Lobster is the star in this Chinese restaurant," Yan says. "You can also order from their Pan-Asian menu in case your mate has a sudden craving for Japanese sushi or Thai cusine." The holiday buffet will include sushi, Thai and Chinese food. 207-641-8788; eastdining.com

Hunan TasteDenville, N.J. "Hunan Taste in northern New Jersey has walls of aquariums filled with exotic fish as room dividers. It's also a great place to impress someone with a classic Chinese banquet," Yan says. "Another reason to go there is the restaurant's Chinese name. Wan Fu Yuan literally means 'ten thousand fortune in the garden.' When you dine there it surely will bring you health, fortune and prosperity in the new year!" 973-625-2782; hunantaste.com

Wong's King Seafood RestaurantPortland, Ore. "This restaurant is Portland's hidden treasure," Yan says. It's not unusual to see weddings and other important occasions being celebrated at this popular restaurant, especially on weekends. "The time to dine there is before 11:30 a.m. After that you'll expect to wait in line." 503-788-8883