Upon entry, the first thing about Tao that catches your eye is a gargantuan Buddha statue in the back of the restaurant, so big that you can’t help but just stare at it for a few seconds to process its size. Tao Uptown was a pleasant experience all-around, with a sophisticated and urbane atmosphere inside. Nevertheless, I have to say I think it was a bit overrated and overpriced, and that the food was good, but not extraordinary. There are perks to going to the restaurant that are unique to Tao, such as the giant Buddha and the restaruant’s Giant Fortune Cookie dessert.
The interior is dimly lighted and almost dark at times, and the heart of the restaurant is essentially an enormous room, almost resembling a dojo, with a magnificent Buddha ruling over the restaurant. The interior was comfortable, but at times I thought it lacked some depth. But the centerpiece, after all, was the Buddha, which Tao is very well-known for.
Their shrimp pad Thai was honestly fantastic. Presentation of food is spot-on in fine china, and the food legitimately tastes good. I loved the dish, and can’t complain anything about it.
For dessert, Tao is famous for their very attractive Giant Fortune cookie. The cookie was beautiful, and was served with a side of fruit and a very large and mighty fortune — “If you got some action last night, smile.”
I wasn’t surprised to discover that the fortune cookie looked much better than it tasted. It’s filled with chocolate, which was a pleasant surprise, and my friend loved the cookie’s taste, but I didn’t think it had the right consistency or combination of flavor. Regardless, it looked awesome, and was a very entertaining sight to see.
I would return to Tao if I was ever around Columbus Circle. The restaurant overall gets a positive review out of me, but I wouldn’t say it was one of the best restaurants ever. It’s a bit overrated and overpriced, and there are more restaurants in NYC with much more depth, meaning, and food flavor. The most significant Tao memories are the giant Buddha and the giant fortune cookie, and I suppose the solid quality of my pad Thai. I would definitely go back if I’m ever in the mood for a tasteful and attractive atmosphere and meal, and I think that the restaurant appeals to a large variety of people regardless of their food preferences.