Very enjoyable atmosphere and excellent food. The bar area is small but cozy. very nicely designed with visability into the restaurant that is two stories. You can be seated upstairs or downstairs. We were seated upstairs. First though we enjoyed cosmopolitans at the bar then had dinner on the second floor. This restaurant is very crowded and reservations well in advance are recommended. There is also a bar upstairs. Tables are close together and forget trying to fit in between the tables even you are pretty slim. Even though this place was packed, our service was incredible. Would definately return to this restaruant for sure.
Favorite Dish: wasabi encrusted filet migon......with extra large onion rings. Chicken dumplings.....cosmopolitans~
Originally a 19th century stable for the Vanderbuilts and then a balconied movie theatre Tao is a beautiful restaurant that will fill your senses.
The Asian inspired theme is carried throughout this caverous restaurant where the focal point is the Giant Budha. There are artifacts from Japan, China and Thailand, which is part of the whole dinning experience.
The service and meals are first rate.
Favorite Dish: Vince ordered the meal and as you can see from the pic, we enjoyed a few great items, everything was oh so delicious!! Their specialty dishes are based on Hong Kong, Thai and Japanese.
One word - BREATH-TAKINGLY AWESOME SUPER PARTYVILLE!
Difficult not to get overly excited about this place. Looks pretty unassuming from street-level. Enter via a plastic fly sheet, walk past reception (where you have booked in advance, otherwise turn around and walk straight out again), and into a cool little bar / waiting area. Dark and dingy, with thumping house beats, this bar would work on its own - but here it's only used as a stop gap as your table is prepared.
The main dining area is probably the best eating space I have ever sat in.
A brick cavern on two floors with giant Chinese ceiling rafts hanging above your head. Lanterns and candles provide the light and a DJ (in a purpose built booth - when did you see that last in a restaurant?) spins a background house sound, often accompanied by a wandering bongo player. Surveying the main room is the centrepiece of the restaurant, a 10ft silver Buddha, sat above a shimmering pond of Koi carp (not on the menu). Reminded me of an upmarket, Asian Manumission (without the two mingers having sex).
Food was excellent and service polished - if I ever go back to New York, Tao will be the first restaurant I go to. Ignore everyone who slags this place off... it's the dogs danglies - PERIOD!
Either book through their website or use the fantastic www.opentable.com.
Oh yeah, the final "speed dating" scene from Hitch with Will Smith was filmed in here, along with the episode "Defining Moments" from SATC.
Favorite Dish: GET FREE DRINKS AT TAO
For the most popular Asian restaurant in Manhattan, Tao are quite disorganised and I guarantee you will be sent to wait for your table in the bar (with a little vibrating pager). If you are waiting more than 15mins, start to harass the girl on reception (its her job to bum you off). After a while she will get bored and give you a free cocktail flyer from the stack she has for these eventualities. Don't get paranoid though, unless you are a Knicks player, you will probably be waiting 30-45mins for your 9pm Saturday reservation. Boo Hoo
Shared the Lacquered Roast Filet of Pork to start - the best pork weve ever eaten, so soft as if it had been practising yoga from birth. For mains, the Sea Bass, a soft white steak, and the Mongolian Scallion Chicken. Been having day dreams about both since we left NY.
The huge Buddah statue adds an ambiance to the environment at this very hip feng shue place. I got reservations (yep didn't make it the first time I wanted to go) for a group of 12 of us. Although we had diverse tastes, everyone was very happy. I think we ended up tasting nearly everything on the menu. From Thai, to Japanese, to Chinese the duck, shrimp, and noodles were awesome. I have to say it was tops for environment and food. Price was reasonable for the quality of food which was top notch.
You have to check out the bathrooms... are you ying or yang? Maybe you'll have to guess. :)
The website is cool. I recommend checking it out.
Favorite Dish: I'm a duck fan, so the duck was my favorite. It was very tender and sweet.
Great place for a smart dinner, but make sure you book in advance!! Bar is rather crowded so only use while you're waiting for a table, unless you get there early!
Amazing Thai decor, with a huge Buddha as the main attraction.
Can be a bit noisy, especially as the music was a bit loud when we were there, but we also had the disadvantage of having a huge table, so this made it only really possible to talk to the people on either side of you and not across the table! But after a glass or two of Saki, it didn't really matter!!
Outstanding food - really worth the money!! Just amazing - you haven't tasted Thai food until you've eaten here!!
Favorite Dish: Oooh! Too many to mention! But you must try the crab cakes (and I don't even eat seafood much!!), and the mixed dessert platter (fortune cookie is divine). Basically everything was yummy!
Ok. Places like this (featured recently on the Apprentice and on Sex in the City) are just too hip for me. However, I had to go for a work outing and was surprisingly impressed. The bar was jam packed with a mixture of beautiful people and Midtown workers - and it was a Tuesday night. Drinks at the bar are pricey- $18 for a martini. The restaurant itself is decorated beautifully.
Tao makes its residence in what was previously a grand movie theatre. Where once stood the movie screen, now stands a huge 16-foot statue of Buddha. The tables are distributed among three levels. Imagine the ground floor as the orchestra seats - they offer a great view of the statue and extremely high ceilings, accompanied by the roar and buzz of the front bar. The second level of tables is set a bit towards the back, as would be the mezzanine where your views of the Buddha from above are optimal and the atmosphere is somewhat quieter (if that’s possible).
Favorite Dish: We had a sampling of some great dishes. The concept behind Tao is traditional Asian, with members of the table sharing in dishes of Chinese, Thai, Korean and Japanese cuisine. We tried some sushi as well as cooked dishes. One of the memorable dishes was the wasabi crusted filet mignon with onion rings. The molten chocolate cake is worth going off your diet for the evening.
Before anything, let me warn you that you will most certainly be spending a fair amount of money here. This place is by no means cheap or affordable. The prices are high, but the food, the service, and the atmosphere is so worth the price!
Imagine if you could a movie scene, taking place in a trendy New York restaurant, where all the crowd is beautiful, the decor authentic, and your waitress looks like Lucy Liu (ask for Susan). Well, Tao is certainly this type of place and in fact was featured in the HBO series 'Sex in the City'. The reason we went there was because the person in my party who recommended it is a big fan of the show and wanted to give it a try.
The experience was divine to say the least! I tried five different entrees and three of their starters, and all the dishes were unbelievable. Even something as simple as their vegetarian spring rolls were a cut above the rest.
Add to this, attentive, knowledged, and courteous service, a trendy atmosphere, lots of seating, and a huge statue of buddha himself and it is no wonder that this melange of Thai, Chinese, Japanese and all things Asian is a favorite hang out of Hollywood stars like Nicole Kidman, Tom Cruise, Rob Deniro, Anthony Hopkins and many more.
Be sure to make reservations as there is a good chance you may not be seated otherwise. You must stress to your guests that everyone has to be there in order to be seated!
Lastly, trust your server as I'm sure he or she will recommend something you will certainly enjoy!
Favorite Dish: The following is a list of what we had the pleausre of trying.
From the Starters Menu:
-Satay of Chilean Sea Bass
-Thai Stuffed Shrimp
-Imperial Vegetable Egg Roll
From the Entrees:
-Soy Ginger Glazed Salmon
-Thai Fish Hot Pot
-Hong Kong XO Shrimp
-Kobe Beef Shabu Shabu
-Wok Seared New York Sirloin
From the Desserts:
--Giant Fortune Cookie
From the Bar:
-Tao-hito (like a Mohito, just a bit different)
I can't stress enought how amazing all of the dishes were! My favorite were the Kobe Beef Shabu Shabu and the Wok Seared New York Sirloin
feel as if your on an episode of "sex and the city" in this asian bistro. We booked a day in advance but I'm not sure how easy it would be to just turn up? make sure you turn up earlier than your reservation and have a drink in the bar before. Your given a vibrating card to buzz you when your table is ready, I almost dropped my drink when it went off!The food is good with a wide range of dishes on offer, but the surroundings are amazing. The only downside is the waiters, they walk around as if they are on a catwalk!
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