It was the best birthday *surprise* dinner. My husband emailed me asking to meet him on 59th and Lexington.
My presumptuous self figured he was probably taking me to Bloomingdales, also on 59th and Lex, so I could pick out my birthday gift.
I was psyched! He was going to be romantic and thoughtful and blah blah blah!
After a 10 minute downpour and patiently waiting under my umbrella, I received a text message from my husband asking me to come towards 58th and Lex. Say what? But, but, but… Bloomies is this way.
As I unwillingly walked towards 58th and came face to face with him, he grabbed my hand and led the way east on 58th street. And then I came face to face with those magical 3 letters - T-A-O!
I exclaimed, "We are going to Tao?" He responded, "No. We're just passing by, we're going someplace else."
I exclaimed back, "No, we're going to Tao. I thought you were taking me to Bloomies on a shopping spree, but this works too." He sighed!
Yes, I know I dream big, but even though I never went on a shopping spree to Bloomies, I had the most amazing birthday surprise dinner at Tao, my absolute favorite place in Manhattan.
42 E 58th Street
New York, NY 10022
MENU: TAO menu
CUISINE: Asian, Dim Sum, Lounge
RECOMMENDED TO: Bar Scene, Couples, Small Groups, Large Groups, Romantic Dining.
Between my husband and I, we enjoyed 2 drinks each. All the drinks were succulent, delicious, and smooth. I was hit after just one, but I still went for seconds. You really can’t go wrong with the drinks at Tao.
Peach Cosmopolitan – my favorite, twas’ like drinking juice (left).
Lychee Martini – perfection (second to left).
TAO-hito – a classic mojito, smooth (second to right & right).
As for our appetizer, we ordered the Pan Fried Chicken Gyoza served alongside napa cabbage and soy dipping sauce. This delicious appetizer came with 4 pieces and the chicken was highly flavorsome.
At Tao, I don’t mess around and I always order the same dish, the Soy Ginger Glazed Salmon. The perfectly cooked ginger salmon sits over a bed of udon noodles and spinach. The noodles are most definitely cooked in soy sauce, butter, and parsley. Simply Outstanding!
My husband orders rice or noodles at every Asian restaurant, thus he went for one of Tao’s famous dishes, Pad Thai Noodles with Shrimp. Although this dish was good, I didn't think it was TAOmazing. For one, it was way too sweet, and unfortunately he barely ate a fourth of his dish and we took the rest to go.
Can’t leave Tao without dessert, especially on a birthday! We split the Banana Pudding which is literally fried tempura banana sitting over bread pudding topped with fortune cookie crumbs. If you think Magnolia’s Banana Bread Pudding is a 5, Tao’s is off the chart. Heavenly!
VERDICT: 5 / 5
Tao is exceptional, and one of my favorite restaurants in Manhattan. The food, drinks, service, and ambiance is all outstanding. The music here is hot, you’ll particularly hear instrumental lounge beats. A great place to mingle with drinks after work or later into the night.
Once we got home, I fixed the leftover Pad Thai Noodles and my husband devoured his new noodles. When I told my friend the next day what happened with the noodles, she said, “wow Nish, you had to fix Tao food?” I know right! Okay I’ll stop gloating. Besides the Pad Thai Noodles being too sweet, everything else here was exceptionally good or as I like to call it TAOmazing, hence I couldn’t give them anything short of a 5.
On my next visit though, I need to expand my horizons and try something new, perhaps the Hong Kong Shrimp, or perhaps the Grilled Red Snapper with bok choy and ginger, or perhaps even the Sea Scallops in a red curry Thai basil sauce. And maybe I’ll try the Molten Chocolate Cake with Coconut Ice Cream which would make the perfect ending to an extraordinary meal. Oh I’m in heaven just thinking about it, clearly, I’m looking forward to my next Tao meal.
Thanks again to my husband for an amazing birthday dinner. I love that you know my taste in food.
Haven't been to Tao anywhere, but one thing for sure - in any Thai restaurant in US that I have ordered Pad Thai it has always been on the sweeter and stickier side and I do not understand why! [Authentic Thai food only possible in Thailand :D]
I've eaten Pad Thai at other restaurants and I've really liked it, this one was a little too sweet. Of course, the best is in Thailand, but won't be there anytime soon. 🙂
I haven't been to Tao but my friends in New York have spoken very highly of it! It kinda reminds me of Nobu in London- amazing food, fun crowd and great atmosphere especially over the weekend!
I've heard great things about Nobu, I believe there is one in NYC too, will have to check it out. Weekends - it is packed. 🙂
Keira Martins says
Wow! Excellent place... Food looks yummy... Just want to be here
Budget hotel in new york city Manhattan
Keira - it's definitely a place worth trying at least once.
Looks like you had an amazing birthday! The party never stops 😉 Glad you got to enjoy Tao since you obviously missed out on your shopping spree.
Thanks Laura.. I turn my birthday into a 1 month affair.. different people to celebrate with. Yes, but no shopping spree. 🙂
Georgia | The Comfort of Cooking says
What a fabulous place to celebrate your birthday. Tao looks so romantic and perfect for a special night out!
Thanks Georgia.. it's super romantic and definitely a place for special occasions or that occasional splurge.
Mr. & Mrs. P says
Love Tao.. We have eating in the NYC and the Vegas one.. I dont know if they still serve a massive fortune for dessert... So good!
Me too.. I haven't been to the one in Vegas yet. They still have that massive fortune cookie, I heard it's amazing, but I haven't yet tried it.
Kiran @ KiranTarun.com says
What a surprising turns of event on your birthday celebration! That's a tao-mazing meal 🙂
Haha.. glad you enjoyed the events. THanks!
what a delicious way to celebrate birthday.
Awesome way to celebrate! I love going to a fancy pants restaurant for my birthday. I've been to Tao in Vegas. Sadly I never got to try the food. We only went to party. I'll have to give it a try next time I'm in that area!
I love going to fancy places all the time, especially for birthdays. Haven't been to the one in Vegas, next time. I wanted to party there, but that didn't happen. 🙂
I've been to the Tao in Vegas and you are so right about the atmosphere - it's simply amazing! I have yet to eat there though. Sounds like such a delicious and fun dinner surprise! Love it!
Tao Vegas looked amazing from the outside, but I never went in. It was a delicious dinner.. thanks P!
Such a nice birthday surprise! Better than a Bloomies trip for sure.
I love the grilled snapper, it's one of my favorites. I also love the sea bass appetizer. And Ali LOVES the molten lava cake. It's too sweet for me though.
I agree on the noodles...to sweet and a bit greasy. We never ordered them after the first time.
Thanks Ameena.. yeah, better than Bloomies, I guess. 🙂 I don't generally order snapper cause I've never tried it, need to try someone's before ordering it at Tao. I've tried sea bass before and I liked it, pretty mild. Ooooh.. I'll have to try the Molten Lava next time. I'm glad you agree on the noodles. 🙂
Anne ~ Uni Homemaker says
Gotta love that hubby of yours. What a great way to celebrate!
Haha... he's not like that most of the time, but thank you. I told him what you wrote, and he was so happy. Thanks for your sweet comment.
Amelia Grace says
I have never been to Tao, but the food looks divine. Especially the ginger salmon-
Happy birthday once again, perfect night out!
Amelia - the next time you visit NYC or Vegas, you should go to Tao. If you love salmon, this may be the best salmon you ever eat. Thank you girlfriend!
Natalie G says
Happy Birthday! It looks like you had a wonderful dinner, everything looks top-notch.
Thanks Natalie.. it was a nice dinner. 🙂
What a lovely surprise!! haha Love that you thought you were going to Bloomies! Maybe he'll read this and take you there as well!
Lauren, you make me laugh. I showed him your message and he just rolled his eyes at me. LOL! Oh please.. Pretty Woman was like 20+ years ago, remember? 🙂
judit + Corina @WineDineDaily says
Happy Birthday and glad you had such a delicious celebration! Corina was at the Las Vegas Tao with her friends and she did enjoy it too.
Thanks J+C. I passed by LV Tao, but never went in, looked really nice. Thanks for your comment.