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Sunday, July 22, 2012


TAO  was such an amazing and delicious experience. These are the things you do on special occasions, and with people you love, and in my opinion, they create the best memories.

My husband and I started off our day in the city seeing a matinee performance of The Phantom of the Opera. This was my wedding present to him. I know what you're thinking, "Wow! That's quite a present!" Let me clarify by saying he gave me something just as spectacular. My phone was dying and he treated me to an iPhone upgrade. Not too shabby! I'm a lucky girl. :-) I'm getting off topic here. Anyways, we had 10th row orchestra seats for Phantom, and like I said, it was even more spectacular than I remember. I had seen Phantom for the first time in either 7th or 8th grade. Not remembering a lot of it, and I'm sure not appreciating it at 12 years old, I fell in love with it all over again. The music was so hauntingly beautiful. I also found myself crying by the end of the show because the story was just so moving and so heart-wrenching at times. It was nice to appreciate it more than ever when seeing it 20 years later. I was humming "Music of the Night" for the rest of the evening into this morning.

It's hard to go to TAO and not want to order everything on the menu. We started with an appetizer of lobster wontons with shitake mushrooms in a ginger soy sauce with scallions. This appetizer had one of the best sauces I have ever had. Sadly, we ate them so fast that I forgot to photograph them! Ha! Oh well. I apologize.

Tao-hito (their version of a Mojito with Bacardi Limon) So refreshing on a hot day!

I'm really not much of a drinker, but this Mojito hit the spot. Complete with fresh mint muddled in the bottom of the glass, fresh mint garnished on top, and a fresh piece of sugar cane...this drink was a wonderful precursor to our meal. It was so nice to sip this frosty drink because it wasn't loaded with strong flavors. The flavors were all clean and refreshing.

Coconut shrimp with spicy Thai peanut curry sauce and white rice on the side

This dish was my main meal. I'm a big shrimp lover, and I also love anything you can put a coconut curry sauce on. The rest of the food is just a catalyst to get the food into my mouth. Just kidding. ;-)  The shrimp on the plate was gigantic, and I found myself cutting each one into several pieces so I could eat it. It also made it a lot easier to swirl around in the sauce. Mix a piece of shrimp with some sauce and sticky rice...YUM!! It really didn't take much convincing for me to finish my plate. Of course I had to leave room for dessert. Do you not know me by now??  :-)

Banana pudding with a fortune cookie crumble & 2 fried bananas

I stress that we ordered 2 desserts STRICTLY so I could sample flavors and take pictures for this blog. Sooooo...what you see here is the absolute best banana pudding dessert I have ever had. This bowl is insanely deceiving because you don't understand how deep it is. (But seriously, I wasn't complaining.) The crunchy topping paired so perfectly with the smooth and creamy pudding. It had such an intense banana flavor. This is not your mom's Jell-o pudding she made for you when you were a little kid. As I ate further into the center of the bowl, I was pulling out pieces of chopped banana. The bottom was a lightly moistened crust just like on top. Heaven. I'm not even sure I have words for it. One thing I will say, I didn't finish it all so clearly I took the rest home. As I write this, I finished the last bite.

Lemongrass Creme Brulee with Macadamia nut cookies
As I've said in other posts, Creme Brulee is my favorite dessert, and I need to order it whenever I see it on the menu. This was no exception. Did I mention we shared the dessert and I didn't stuff my face with both? Ok, good. Just checking. The lemongrass flavor with this dessert was exceptional. It was a light hint, so it didn't take away from the cream custard and crunchy sugar topping. I let my husband eat most of this while I concentrated on the banana pudding, but I would've probably taken that home as well. Needless to say, there was no leftovers from that confection!!

I hope you get to Tao one day. It's definitely an experience if you love Japanese culture like I do, love Asian food, and are willing to try a great mix of Asian fusion dishes. Branch out and order a meal with flavors that pique your interest. Until then, happy eating! :-)

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