Tao

Restaurants , Pan-Asian Midtown East
  • 3 out of 5 stars
(2 user reviews)
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Tao
Tao
On a Friday night, not two, not three but four cheongsam-clad hostesses are on hand to greet you, if you can make it past the swell of customers struggling to get in, a process not unlike trying to board the Star Ferry from Kowloon at rush hour. Beyond the spectacle (the cavernous three-story space, the towering Buddha, the roving djembe drummer) shines an ambitious menu that offers original takes on Japanese (shiitake mushrooms braised in sake), Chinese (Peking-duck spring rolls) and Decadence-ese (spicy lobster rolls with shiso and black caviar). For some, eating Roasted Buddha Chicken in the shadow of the Enlightened One, who was something of a vegetarian, might prove difficult. But the giant fortune cookie (message: “You will soon open a branch in Las Vegas”) is a dessert for everyone.
Venue name: Tao
Contact:
Address: 42 E 58th St
New York
10022
Cross street: between Madison and Park Aves
Opening hours: Mon, Tue 11:30am–midnight; Wed–Fri 11:30am–1am; Sat 5pm–1am; Sun 5pm–midnight
Transport: Subway: N, R to Fifth Ave–59th St
Price: Average main course: $25. AmEx, DC, MC, V
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Average User Rating

2.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:0
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:1
LiveReviews|2
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julio bruno
moderator

I have been going to Tao's for years and I have come to the conclusion that it is a great place for a first visit. It is so colorful and busy that you are overwhelmed the first time with the sheer amount of people waiting for a table and yes, everyone has got a reservation! You would wait between 30 minutes -if you are lucky- to over an hour -the norm. And do not think about leaving the place to come back, until you are all guests there they will not give you your pager to call you for a table, so you must be in the place waiting by the overcrowded bar where you will pay over 18 dollars a pop... Once in the restaurant you have two floors with a huge 30 ft Buddha presiding the main room. The floor upstairs is theatre-like so you can look down to the main restaurant. There is also a private room in a third floor for small parties.

Food is your typical good Asian food, a bit of Chinese, a bit of Thai and all Americanized for good measure. I always enjoy the food even if the price is high.

In short, a noisy, young-ish crowd place that will make you look like an "insider" to your out-of-town friends and colleagues.

L C W

Feeling Robbed.


I always love the food, but when my card was blatantly charged over $100 on a $300 check, hard not feel that it was deliberate. Especially as no one will do anything, Worse, Mohammad in their corporate office can't seem to get me a refund. Keeps blowing me off, saying they are trying to find the server, not that that has any bearing on it. Been a month now. So beware of servers ripping you off at TAO. I even Tweeted to their corporate handle, and was ignored. Not a classy organization. A classy place would apologize and credit the meal, it's called creating good will for your brand, good PR. But no, not TAO. Screw 'em.