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Three recommended dining tips in New York

by Mike Cohen

Earlier this year I spent some quality time in New York City and enjoyed some fine cuisine.

Tao Uptown

We were elated to get a reservation at TAO Uptown (www.taogroup.com), an upscale Pan-Asian brand, located at 42 East 58th Street. There is also a TAO Downtown, as well as locations in Las Vegas, Chicago and Los Angeles.

Tao has three levels of dining including the prized “Skybox,” which offers views of this former movie theatre unparalleled in New York. In addition to its 300 seats, Tao includes a sushi bar, lounge and two bars at which to enjoy the food and the show. We started off with some drinks: a signature Tao-tini, a glass of prosecco and a Bubbles and Berries. We then moved on to some appetizers: The Peking duck spring rolls with hoisin sauce, the spicy tuna tartare on crispy rice and the salmon sashimi followed by miso glazed Chilean sea bass, grilled 12 ounce imperial waygu ribeye (served with crispy fried onions and wow this was beyond amazing!) and lobster and kimchee fried rice. For dessert we shared a giant fortune cookie.

Black Tap

What fun it was for me to experience a Black Tap (www.blacktap.com) restaurant for the first time and no less their new flagship 35th Street location (known as Black Tap 35th). There are two others in NYC as well as locales at Downtown Disney in California and at the Venetian in Las Vegas. Internationally you can find them in Bahrain, Kuwait, Singapore, Switzerland and the United Arab Emirates.

I started off with the Queso & Chips appetizer – zesty cheese served with warm tortilla chips and a house salad. The Old Fashioned Prime Burger was my main choice, topped with crimini mushrooms, melted Swiss cheese, carmelized onions and horse radish with some crispy fries.

I did my best to conserve some appetite for a crazy shake and opted for the Cake Shake. Black Tap 35th is located at 45 West 35th Street and open from 11 am to midnight daily.

A Brazilian Dining Experience

Fogo de Chão (fogo-dee-shown) is a leading Brazilian steakhouse, or churrascaria, specializing in the centuries-old Southern Brazilian cooking technique of churrasco – the art of roasting high-quality cuts of meats over open flame, all of which are carved tableside by Brazilian-trained gaucho chefs. There is Picanha (signature sirloin), Filet Mignon, Ribeye, Fraldinha (Brazilian sirloin) Cordeiro (lamb) and more. In addition to the main dishes, they boast a gourmet market table, authentic Brazilian side dishes, and an award-winning wine list.

There are currently 56 locations throughout Brazil, the United States, Mexico and the Middle East. I had a chance to experience this restaurant for the very first time at the beautiful West 53rd Street location in midtown Manhattan. I opted in favor of the Full Churrasco Experience, which for $69.95 includes the trained chefs coming to your table. The beyond impressive market table and feijoada bar is included, featuring seasonal salads, soups, fresh vegetables, imported charcuterie, hearts of palm, giant asparagus, fresh buffalo mozzarella cheese, sun dried tomatoes, fresh cut and steamed broccoli, marinated artichoke bottoms, tabbouleh, smoked salmon, an assortment of fine cheeses and much more. From the dessert menu I chose the Tres Leches Cake. For more information visit http://www.fogo.com.