REVIEW #30

Asiate

Diners at Asiate should prepare themselves for the most stunning combination of ambiance and view in New York. On the 35th floor of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel, Asiate’s massive floor-to-ceiling windows take in a huge sweep of Central Park and much of midtown’s skyline. Designer Tony Chi has brilliantly integrated the restaurant’s design with the view, hanging a glittering tree branch sculpture from the ceiling that echoes the trees of Central Park, especially in the iciness of winter. The seasonal nature of the menu also juxtaposes with and is amplified by the evolving vistas throughout the year. The result is an immensely stylish restaurant that feels organically unified with the world around it.

The contemporary cuisine by Toni Robertson is classic, but inflected with international influences, particularly Asian spices. French-Asian fusion is not new, but rarely has it been executed so well. When Asiate first opened, they served exquisite and reasonably-priced Bento Boxes, which was like getting a 6-course tasting menu, only all at once. Now, the menus contain the more conventional a la carte, prix fixe or tasting menu options. These contain excellent options, such as the sea bass, wagyu beef tenderloin and “buckwheat and eggs” (soba noodles, ostetra caviar and uni cream), which is brilliantly paired with a sake. The service still needs some improvement. Although it is by and large very deft, we have never had a meal there without at least one significant lapse, such as forlorn drink glasses languishing endlessly with no waiters in sight. We remain willing to pay that price for a meal of this caliber.

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INFORMATION

Upper West Side
80 Columbus Cir.
New York (nr. Broadway)
212-805-8881
Mon-Fri, 7am-10:30am, noon-2pm, 6pm-10pm; Sat, 7am-10:30am, 11:30am-2pm, 6pm-10pm; Sun, 7am-10:30am, 11:30am-2pm, 6pm-9pm
    Toni Robertson, Chef
    Angie Berry, Chef de Cuisine
    Paul Nolan, Executive Pastry Chef
    Annie Turso, Wine Director
    Peter Bothwell, Sommelier
    Tony Chi, Designer

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