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FELL IN LOVE WITH FOOD & WINE

Asiate: A flawless lunch at the Mandarin Oriental on Columbus Circle

February 16, 2016
Tuna sashimi amuse bouche at Asiate
Asiate Dining Room

Asiate Dining Room

Lunch at the Mandarin Oriental on Columbus Circle is the perfect place to celebrate someone or something special.

The setting is nothing short of spectacular with panoramic views of Columbus Circle, Central Park and Central Park South. From this perch on the 35th floor, the yellow taxis speeding around the Circle below almost look like toy miniatures. The scene is just as magical after dark.

View of Columbus Circle from our table at Asiate

View of Columbus Circle from our table at Asiate

Asiate is the contemporary American restaurant in New York City’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel. With an impressive glass wine wall with more than 1500 bottles, the spacious, light-filled room has clean modern lines. The tasteful décor is black and white with accents of fuchsia that match the vase of orchids on each table. A metallic tree-branch sculpture hangs from the high ceiling. Most tables are so widely spaced, some with banquettes and others with booths, that it’s easy to forget that anyone else is in the room.

The menu of Executive Chef Christian Pratsch, who was classically trained in Europe, reflects the finest seasonal ingredients with whimsical Asian accents, each dish artfully plated. The service is professional and attentive but not hovering, and perfectly paced. When our waiter heard we wanted to share our two entrees, he brought out two extra dishes and moved the entrees to the center of the table placing serving spoons on each. When we asked for a check after the leisurely lunch, it was already prepared and ready to hand to us.

We started our celebratory lunch off with two glasses of Prosecco from Bocelli Family Wines. Yes, a product of the family of Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli who have long been vintners. (I had met Andrea’s brother, Alberto, at a concert many years ago and couldn’t resist trying one of these products.) It was dry but so smooth and palatable that I’ll be searching for it in my local liquor store.

Next came a melt-in-your-mouth tuna sashimi amuse bouche in the playful form of a small geometric cube with mustard on top.

Tuna sashimi amuse bouche at Asiate

Tuna sashimi amuse bouche at Asiate

The lunch menu offered a la carte appetizers and entrees as well as a two-course (appetizer and entrée) fixed-price lunch for $34 per person.

Each of the tasty fish dishes we ordered was prepared to perfection. The salmon was tender with a subtle crispy glaze; the cod was pearly, flaky, tender and beautifully seared.

Wild Salmon with red cabbage, spiced walnuts and beurre rouge

Wild Salmon with red cabbage, spiced walnuts and beurre rouge

Seared black cod on a bed of baby spinach with artichokes and lobster lemongrass broth

Seared black cod on a bed of baby spinach with artichokes and lobster lemongrass broth

After the entrées, our waiter brought a small but decadent complimentary plate of delicious pastries and chocolates to our table.

Complimentary dessert plate at Asiate

Complimentary dessert plate at Asiate

When you add $11 coffees, $18 cocktails, taxes and a tip, the cost of lunch (either fixed-price or a la carte) was a splurge even by New York City standards. But it’s hard to complain when service, setting and food come together with such flawless precision.


IF YOU GO

Asiate at the Mandarin Oriental

80 Columbus Circle, New York City

TIPS:

  • Reservations can be made on OpenTable.com/
  • To reach Asiate, take an express elevator to the 35th (Lobby) floor of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel.
  • Arrive at noon when the dining room opens to increase your odds of getting a lunch table with a window view.

  • Reply
    Mark Spivak
    February 16, 2016 at 11:42 am

    Great story, Irene—this is definitely going on the list for my next trip to NYC (after the snow melts).

    • Irene S. Levine
      Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      February 17, 2016 at 9:25 am

      You’ve given us so many excellent dining suggestions around the world that I’m glad I could reciprocate! 🙂

  • Reply
    Larry & Sherri Segall
    February 16, 2016 at 12:21 pm

    Irene, Looks Delish. Larry

  • Reply
    Sand In My Suitcase
    February 18, 2016 at 9:47 am

    Love the hot pink color accents here! But it sounds like the real reason to lunch here is the food – the salmon dish looks very tempting (and healthy too).

  • Reply
    Carole Terwilliger Meyers
    February 29, 2016 at 4:26 pm

    What a fabulous luncheon! And for me, so near yet so far. I was just recently in the same building having breakfast at Bouchon, with a much-closer-to-the-ground view of the taxis in the circle. But once, a few years back, I did enjoy viewing the 4th of July fireworks from a suite up at the top of the Mandarin. Fabulous hotel, fabulous location, and also, I see, fabulous food.

    • Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      March 1, 2016 at 3:15 pm

      Fourth of July must have been great from that suite!
      I used to love when the NYC fireworks were on the West side.

  • Reply
    The GypsyNesters
    February 29, 2016 at 10:53 pm

    Always glad to learn about another great restaurant in New York. We’ll have to give it a try next time we feel like something special in the city.

  • Reply
    noel
    March 1, 2016 at 3:44 pm

    OMG not only is the view stunning but the food looks so creative and I’m sure delicious. The food pics almost made me drool on my laptop Irene!

  • Reply
    Janice Chung
    March 1, 2016 at 9:17 pm

    Your photos were fabulous, particularly the dessert! The presentation of all the dishes were beautiful as was the view. Makes you forget the price of the meal! Sometimes it’s even more enjoyable having lunch rather than dinner as you can see the city from such a great vantage point.

  • Reply
    Suzanne Stavert
    March 2, 2016 at 4:30 pm

    You know this is right up my alley! We will definitely make a reservation next time we are in the city. Amazing!

  • Reply
    Jackie Smith
    March 2, 2016 at 7:54 pm

    Note to self: Do not read one of Irene’s restaurant reviews when you should be in the kitchen starting dinner. As it is, that chicken breast I am fixing no longer calls out to me but my mouth is watering and stomach is growling! (Loved the photo of the taxis).

    • Irene S. Levine
      Reply
      Irene S. Levine
      March 2, 2016 at 11:01 pm

      I can’t even read my own reviews when I’m doing the cooking!

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