TAO Restaurant Review:
A 15-foot gilt Buddha perched in a gurgling fountain looks on as you dine on creative Asian fare at this glitzy Midtown eatery. Housed in a former movie theater, TAO makes the most of its soaring ceiling, exposed brick walls and intimate banquettes. In addition to the Buddha, there’s plenty of bamboo, silk upholstery and backlit screens. For dinner, begin with a soul-soothing TAO-hito (mojito) with sugar cane. Much of the food, a fusion of Hong Kong Chinese, Japanese and Thai, is tasty. There’s a page of sushi appetizers to start and most of the rest of the menu is vaguely Chinese in origin. Tuna ishiyaki arrives with a trio of sauces while lobster chunk-filled wontons come with an aromatic shiitake ginger broth. Other treats include satay of Chilean sea bass with wok roasted asparagus; lobster and shrimp spring roll with spicy pineapple sauce; and roasted Thai Buddha chicken. Amid the hip after-work crowd are cocktail-imbibing tourists lured by TAO’s television appearance on Sex and the City.