Asiate, NYC 2

June 22, 2008

80 Columbus Circle at 60th 212-805-8881

(June 11, 2008). Intrigued by its Zagat rating as the “best decor in town,” we found ourselves seated on the 35th floor of this stunning restaurant overlooking Central Park and east down 59th Street.

The sides with the view are virtually all glass, and the ceilings run 18-20 feet high. On the back walls there are floor to ceiling glass wine cases which add a nice touch.

The tables are well spaced allowing for your conversation to occur without competing with your neighbor’s. For a place so dramatic we were struck that with 2/3 of the tables full this day at lunch, all but one or two were filled with tourists. Are companies tightening up on expense account lunches?

The menu is fairly limited, with seven appetizers, ranging in price from $15-19 and seven main courses, from $22-28. The tasting menu is two courses at $24.08 with only two choices per course. We both began with a fig slice topping a blue cheese puff and then diverged our separate ways.

Gary decided to choose from the tasting menu, starting with the squid salad with eggplant tapenade and roasted bell peppers and then a honey miso-glazed salmon with Asian vegetables. Varian went a la carte, starting with the green mango and papaya salad with Thai vinaigrette followed by an inspired quinoa-crusted chicken with peas, wild mushrooms on the side.

Between our two courses they gave us a plate of prawn dumplings with garlic, chives, ginger and mountain caviar. The ample tray of mignardises proved wise our choice to pass on the scrumptious looking dessert.

Our Clos du Val Chardonnay at $15 per glass was its usual reliable self but the Mendoza Malbec, at $11 per glass, was a real find.

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