A decadent treat next time you’re in New York Circle is the ASIATE at the Mandarin Oriental on Columbus Circle. Asiate mixes contemporary American cuisine with delicious Asian influences. Think: fabulous views, modern decor, exquisite lighting, gracious service, inventive cuisine and stylish décor. Using Central Park views for inspiration, the focal point of the restaurant is an incredible tree-branch sculpture symbolizing trees in winter. Hanging from the ceiling, it is breathtaking in both scope and style. This is all aside from the huge wall of wine housing over 1,300 bottles that face you while you’re dining.
Chef Toni Robertson studied in Chicago, holding posts in some of the world’s finest hotels including Chicago’s Ritz-Carlton and Four Seasons Beverly Hills. She also represented the United States in the 1991 Prix Culinaire Pierre Taittinger Culinary Competition in Paris. The menu was clearly French influenced as confirmed by my group who were all French except for myself.
We started off with a Preserved Cherry Blossom Himachi served with a white soy ponzu, followed by Buckwheat and Eggs, served with saba noodles, Osetra Caviar and Uni Cream. (this was exquisite btw, as odd of a combination as it sounds).
Then we moved onto a Driver Scallop with carmelized celery and Green Apple Ice, followed by Atlantic Halibut with Soba Mai, Surf Clam and Citrus Sabayon, before we moved onto the LOBSTER, which was poached in butter, white polenta, served with a Kaffir Lime Emulsion. YUM!!
The last dish before we moved to the final bottle of Bordeaux, coffee and tea was the Wagyu Beef, served with a smoked potato puree and Yuzu Koshou. Everything was rich, but perfectly balanced and outstanding!
We had a private room overlooking Central Park and while the 7 courses were being served over four or so hours, we sampled various wines including a Ruinart Brut Blanc de Blancs Reims Champagne. Following the bubbly, we moved onto three bottles of Chateau Cos d’Estournel Saint-Estephe, Bordeaux: 1988, 1989 and 1996. Lastly, we had our dessert, a Chocolate Caramel Torte Lemon Gelato, Blood Orange Panna Cotta, Pomegranate Sorbet with Brown Sugar Tuile, with a Chateau Talbot, Saint-Julien French Bordeaux (2009).
The chef on duty for our meal was Angie Berry, with Paul Nolan as Pastry Chef and Sommelier Annie Turso. (two women out of the mix – impressive). Did I mention that the view was stunning?
Check out our New York Food & Wine section for more great New York foodie treats and recommendations.