So I had a royal lunch at Asiate in the palatial Mandarin Oriental in New York City with Mary Ann Williamson. She puts the amorous in glamorous.
We rise in the elevator as if in a champagne bottle. We pop out onto the 35th floor and float into the dining room to drink up a bubbly view of sparkling Central Park.
The show is free; lunch is a steal with two courses for $29.
Mary Ann kicks things off with Roasted Cauliflower, toasted almonds and beer bearnaise. Cauliflower is the new black.
My first course of Scallop sashimi with fennel over ginger ice reminds me of a skilled hoofer in a Broadway musical.
Healthwise, a larger lunch is brilliant. You have all day to burn the calories, then have a smaller dinner. Lunch is less expensive; however, you're fully sated at Asiate. They offer entrees with heft and fortitude.
I have the Venison Tenderloin in black Tuscan kale pistol, black currants.
As I dine, I note the service is a stellar production. Bustling busboys scurry while leading men waiters present plated wonders like Branzino with coco beans, chorizo, in shellfish bisque.
We're not ready for this show to be over. Dessert serves as our denouement: Kabocha Bar.
Asiate is a wonderful dining experience. The best shows keep you dancing and singing long after you've left the theater. Full of fabulous food, Mary Ann and I go high-stepping through the streets of Manhattan. (You might recognize her as the third Rockette from the left.)
All the world's a stage. Hit it, Maestro.
Asiate. 80 Columbus Circle (at 60th Street). New York City, NY 10023. (212) 805-8800.