On a perfectly gorgeous sunny day, I took the day off and had the most fabulous day in New York City. I woke up at 9:00 AM (I surprise myself), baked some Peanut Butter Brownies for my cousin, Nandini. Unfortunately, the brownies were a disaster and I'm guessing it's because I used All Natural Peanut Butter, rather than the Regular Commercial stuff. Oh well, maybe next time they'll be better. So anyway, after baking I met up with my cousin and my angelic little princess niece. The 2 of us went to the park with the baby. What a great day to spend a Friday, right? Here is a view from Nandini's balcony on a beautiful and breezy day in NYC.
After hanging with my cousin, I met up with my friend, Marian, for lunch at Tao. The restaurant is frequented by celebrities such as, Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Jay-Z, Madonna, Britney Spears, and more. This comes as no surprise with the Four Seasons Hotel adjacently located to Tao. In addition, Tao was featured on Sex and the City in the episode where Mr. Big shows up at the restaurant with some model, while Carrie is dating the Jazz musician, remember, "Meecrob-Delicious?" Sadly, I know every single episode!
Moving along, Tao is an upscale, trendy restaurant located in the Midtown East neighborhood and one of the most beautiful restaurants to dine in. Of course, beauty does come with a price tag. 🙂 Trust me, it is worth every penny because you will be "transported to another world designed to relax and indulge all of the senses."
After lunch I walked and shopped 25 blocks to burn my calories, oh yeah, there is a price to pay for staying fit. I truncated the rest of my day and went home to give my hubby a little TLC... he left work early because he wasn't feeling well. Overall, a very productive and fun day!
42 E 58th Street
New York, NY 10022
The atmosphere at Tao is calming, dark, sexy, romantic, and swanky all at the same time. The music is intoxicating. I loved it so much that I ended up purchasing a 2-disc CD set for $25, I absolutely adore "lounge music."
As soon as you walk in you will be faced with a huge Buddha statue with water flowing over it and all around it.
Towards the right are geometric shaped doors that lead you to the hostess.
Look to your left and you will be taken back by the decor at Tao. This is the lounge area and bar. There are votive candles all over which illuminate the room.
Straight-ahead is the dining area, you may be seated up or down. I first dined at Tao with my husband and we were seated upstairs for dinner. Today, however, my friend and I were seated downstairs.
There is an enormous Buddha statue that sits towards the back of the restaurant... you can't miss it. In addition, there is a little pond below the statue with a couple fish swimming around. Okay, I have to confess, I felt a bit strange eating fish and looking at fish, simultaneously... all sarcasm aside! Poor little suckers!
While seated I looked up and was in awe with the decor. The ceilings were covered in Chinese Calligraphy. I felt as though I was dining inside a beautiful hotel due to the vastness of Tao.
Bar Scene, Fine Dining, Groups, Lounge, Romantic Dining.
MENU - $$$$
Tao Menu. The prices are Tao are on the higher side, but you won't feel like you were ripped off because dining here is worth experiencing, at least once. Drinks at Tao run about $13.50 each. The desserts are anywhere from $9 to $12. The dinner entrees range from $24 and up. Fried Rice and Pad Thai Noodles come at an affordable price of $12 and $16, respectively. The lunch entrees are cheaper, although there is no online lunch menu.
However, Tao does offer lunch specials (a 3-course meal) for $26.50 per person. In my opinion, their lunch special is a BARGAIN - take advantage of it and see what the hype is all about.
Marian and I ordered the 3-course Lunch Special. I loved how they serve you a spoon and chopsticks on a metal stand... look how fancy! Funny enough, we requested forks!
For Appetizer, I ordered the Vegetable Lo Mein Salad. This was interesting. The slightly sweet and spicy wasabi flavored cold noodles sat on a bed of mixed greens. I personally did not care for the salad, there were too many flavors in the background and the wasabi was a bit too strong for my liking. It was okay, but not the best! I ate half the noodles.
Marian ordered the Crispy Vegetable Rolls with Duck Mustard Sauce. I didn't try her vegetable rolls, however she enjoyed the fried rolls.
For our Entree, both Marian and I ordered the Soy Ginger Glazed Salmon and it was truly amazing! The grilled salmon was so tender and fresh; the portion was just right. The Udon Noodles were cooked in soy sauce, butter, garlic, and parsley... yeah, I could taste all the flavors in there, strangely enough I wasn't able to taste ginger. I absolutely loved the texture of the Udon Noodles, they were so flavorful.
For Dessert, I had the Zen Parfait which was essentially white & dark chocolate mousse with a hint of peanut butter topped off with soft and creamy whipped cream. This was above average, but not what I had in mind. I was totally expecting a light chocolate mousse, literally the kind that looks like silk. On the contrary, the cookie that came with my dessert was really yummy!
Marian ordered the Banana Pudding which was out of this world. The pudding was so flavorful and thick in texture. You could really taste the banana flavor in the pudding. It was superb! Well I certainly know what dessert I am ordering the next time I dine at Tao. 🙂
On another occassion, my friend, Marian, ordered the Tao-Hito which is their version of the classic mojito. It was really good.
I went for the Lychee Martini made with grey goose vodka, triple sec, and Lychee puree. This was also excellent! One of the best Lychee Martinis I ever had - so smooth.
We shared an appetizer between the 2 of us - Chicken Gyoza. It was so good.
We both ordered the Soy Ginger Glazed Salmon - the portion served during the evening hours is slightly more than during Lunch time. The salmon is fresh, tender, and so flavorful. There is a strong prescence of ginger and soy sauce. The Udon Noodles had a slight bite to it which I loved. This dish is phenomenal, but I seriously need to try some other dishes at Tao.
Lastly, we shared the Banana Pudding - again, the portion served during the evening hours is slightly more and enough to share between 2 to 3 people. It's pretty big. It was amazing.
My favorite part was the tempura banana - wow - never had fried banana before. This was outrageously delicious.
VERDICT - 5 / 5 (Outstanding)
Tao is amazing! Although it is pricy, it is one of those restaurants you have to experience for yourself to see what the hype is all about. At the very least, you can say, "I've been to Tao." You may walk out of Tao loving it, or you may never return, but I promise you won't feel like you just got ripped off. The food, the ambience, the decor, the service, the music, the crowd, and the mood are impeccable. It is one of hottest date spots - definitely make reservations ahead of time. The portions served during the lunch time specials are very generous. I ate half my appetizer and dessert, and I finished my salmon... I was so full afterwards. During dinner, I was pretty full after a drink, appetizer, and entree, but I still managed to make room for dessert. Excellent, excellent, excellent!!!
The biggest downfall here is the wait. I made reservations lunch time so I didn't have an issue today, however when I dined here with my husband for dinner, despite making reservations, we waited over an hour for a table. This place gets insanely packed for dinner, especially on the weekends. Is it worth the wait? For first timers, probably, yes!
TELL ME: Have you been to Tao (New York or Las Vegas)? If so, what was your favorite drink, dish, dessert? Did you love it or hate it?