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TAO Downtown

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TAO Downtown

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Address: 369 West 16th St (Maritime Hotel)
City: New York, NY
Zip: 10011
Phone: (212) 888-2724
Site: Visit the restaurant site
Map: Map
Chef: Ralph Scamardella/Yoshi Kojima
Cuisine: Japanese
2nd Cuisine: Sushi
Area: Chelsea


A taste of Asia in Chelsea as a new hot spot, TAO Downtown, arrives at the Maritime Hotel. The subterranean space, designed by the Rockwell Group, features two huge Buddhas. A 16-foot reclining Buddha greets you at the door, while another, Quan Yin, replete with 24 hands sits atop a koi pond overlooking the main dining room. The space is sexy with floor-to-ceiling dragon scale patterned screens and giant murals of Chinese calligraphy. A 40-foot staircase lined with custom-made red and black banquettes, and over-sized lanterns, providing the additional "wow" factor. Also, expect to be wowed by the menu. Chef/Partner Ralph Scamardella has puts together an exemplary culinary team led by Executive Chef Yoshi Kojima, formerly of Morimoto and Jai by Wolfgang Puck, and Executive Chef Ooi Soon Lok of Jin Xuan at the Ritz Carlton in Shanghai. Chef Scamardella says the goal is to deliver "authentic, flavorful dishes that celebrate old-school techniques and cooking as diverse as the regions of Asia." At TAO Downtown, expect to find the flavors of Cantonese, Japanese and Thai cuisines. Dishes like Singapore Shrimp and Kueh Pie Ti, traditional open-faced Malaysian pies filled with things like lobster mango chili and marinated tuna. New signature plates include Crispy Snapper in the Sand and Roasted Chicken Chow Mein, with hand-pulled noodles made in-house daily. Other dishes include Ju Ju Chicken, a riff on Japanese fried chicken served in a clay pot, and Pork Belly Black Fried Rice. There's also a full sushi menu. Pastry Chef Michelle Kogen, formerly of Nobu, is also sticking to tradition with desserts like Taiwanese shaved ice and Thai Coffee Custard served with a mandarin sorbet and cocoa crunch. TAO Downtown also features "Sky Box" dining overlooking the main dining room and two additional private dining areas. Looking for some specialty cocktails? Head over to the Ink Bar on the Eastern Mezzanine. - Thomas Rafael