DanDan: Chic Chinese in Rittenhouse

View of the balcony at DanDan, 126 S. 16th St.

Saturday, July 11 will see the debut of DanDan, a bilevel Sichuan/Taiwanese bistro from Kevin and Catherina Huang, who previously ran Han Dynasty’s University City location.

Cat Huang's brother is Han Chiang, the mastermind behind the Han Dynasty dynasty.

DanDan, which is unaffiliated with Han Dynasty, has taken a former print shop at 126 S. 16th St., on a corner with Moravian Street and on the same block as Joe's Pizza and the Happy Rooster.

They've set it up with a 10-seat bar on the ground floor, with three tables for two in the front window. A six-seat communal table is tucked behind the bar. On the balcony - which offers the best seats in the house, with a view of the bar and the street - are 30 seats. Hanging lanterns and, along the staircase, a large-scale mural of hanging noodles add to the spare decor.

Menu hits the basics - though many dishes are Sichuan, the label "Taiwanese" will allow a variety of provinces to be represented. They offer full-size dishes (most entrees less than $20) as well as under-$10 tasting plates in the evening.

As at Han Dynasty, dan dan noodles (warmed, lo mein-style noodles tossed with chili oil, sweetened soy sauce, sesame paste, scallions and minced pork) are a specialty.

And how good is DanDan's dan dan? "You'll have to see for yourself," said Cat Huang, winking.

Marc Yanga (formerly of the Sofitel and Han Dynasty) is managing as well as running the bar, which has six beer taps, a few bottles, and cocktails designed to go with the food.

Hours are 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday.

Update: Liquor license has arrived, but BYOB (wine only) is allowed. There's no corkage fee through Aug. 16 for those who BYOB After that, wine may be brought in for a $20-a-table fee after 5 p.m. (No fee before 5 p.m.)

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