Discovering a new and unique ethnic cuisine is one of our top thrills. So we were panting at the door when this tidy crimson-colored storefront, specializing in grub from Kyrgyzstan, opened at the northern edge of Lincoln Square. Its name means “Silk Road,” and the dishes—all under $10—reflect a medley of influences: Russian, Turkish, Indian, Korean, and Chinese. Jump right in by ordering samsy, a samosa-like pastry stuffed with chopped beef and onions ($2.50), or the brawnier chebureki, a fried puff of dough housing a thin spread of minced lamb ($2.50). Soups are sublime—especially thick, robust lentil and tart borscht spiked with beets and cabbage. Dumplings come in all sizes and guises, our favorite being manty: chubby steamed cuties packed with diced pumpkin, beef, and onion ($9.50). Don’t miss the peppery, garlic-shot carrot salad or lagman—long, slithery noodles pulled by hand and then ladled into a hearty broth. It’s possible to BYO, but the young Kyrgyzstanis stick to steaming mugs of tea. Adding a slice of chocolate-splashed honey cake makes the experience all the sweeter. 5047 N. Lincoln Ave.; 773-878-8494. Read more