Address: 2273 Gunbarrel Road
Hours: Sunday-Thursday from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. and Friday from 11 a.m. to 10:30 p.m.
Last Saturday was the Chinese New Year, and what better place is there to celebrate than the ancient Chinese imperial palace known as the Forbidden City? Can't afford the airfare to Beijing? Perhaps you may opt instead to visit the palace's Chattanooga namesake, an all-you-can-eat Asian-American buffet located on Gunbarrel Road.
Forbidden City is welcoming the Year of the Rooster, which according to Chinese lore is symbolic of fidelity and punctuality, two attributes your partner will appreciate you displaying this Valentine's Day.
This year, Feb. 14 falls on a Tuesday, allowing Valentine's Day diners to take advantage of Forbidden City's two-for-one special on glasses of wine. Offered all day every Tuesday, the deal applies to any of the restaurant's red or white wines — a collection so varied, it might surprise you.
Forbidden City's full bar selection might also surprise you; top shelf liquors include Wild Turkey and Patron. There is a big variety of beer, including imports, such as Asahi and Sapporo; as well as specialty cocktails, such as cosmopolitans and apple martinis. Currently, Forbidden City is featuring the "Blue Hawaiian," made with rum, Blue Curacao and pineapple.
Of course, I'd be remiss if I did not mention the eats. While Beijing's Forbidden City is famous for its immensity, Chattanooga's Forbidden City is also rather spacious. Within the restaurant, there are dozens of endless dishes, including sliced fruit, salad fixings and everyday favorites such as fried spring rolls, beef and broccoli, and General Tso's chicken.
There is a bounty of fresh sushi rolled throughout the day and there are abundant dessert options, such as bite-sized brownies, tiramisu, cheesecake, self-serve hand-scooped ice cream and more.
Fidelity and punctuality may be important in a relationship, but don't underestimate the power of sweets.