By Hillary Latos
Perched in the sky above Columbus Circle with a 180-degree view of Billionaires Row, Central Park and Fifth Avenue, Asiate is one of Manhattan’s best-kept secrets on the 35th floor of the five-star Mandarin Oriental.
Though the million dollar views in a breathtaking setting are enough of a reason to dine here, the food clearly stands on its own. Attracting a steady mix of locals and tourists alike, Asiate tapped the “Queen of Comfort Food” Chef Amy Thompson to create their renowned weekend brunch. Hailing from Michigan, Chef Thompson brings her signature creative flair tempered by a Midwestern sensibility to the sophisticated palette of fine dining.
Much like the décor of this gleaming yet beautifully appointed space, the menu is a creative presentation of seasonal flavors that are plated like pieces of contemporary artwork. Start the day with a tasting of sparkling cocktails mixed with exotic flavors such as lychee and St. Germain- pear puree, rum and thyme, or hibiscus syrup and lime.
The best way to describe the satiating three-course brunch is elevated comfort food; where familiar flavors are accented with surprising touches to create an exciting new take on brunch classics. Start with a “rooted” first course such as a warm corn shooter with zucchini crab salad and cornbread crouton or the beef Carpaccio with shitake and horseradish crème fraiche.
The main courses dabble between decadently sweet options such as the cinnamon French toast with pecan toffee syrup, and caramelized bananas or exquisite savory dishes like the smoked salmon pastrami Benedict. Other scrumptious options are the rich braised short rib, BBQ duck tostada and grilled shrimp and grits or lighter fare such as the tuna nicoise. Save room for the sweet ending that changes weekly and uses seasonal ingredients.
Asiate’s dining room reflects the subtle refinement and modern flair that the Mandarin Oriental is known for; melding artistic touches with the contemporary and using the panoramic view as its inspiration. From the radiant orchid shade that accents the seating and table tops to the visually stunning silver tree branch centerpiece, this same experience of unexpected surprises with inventive cuisine translates to the unforgettable dining experience to be had at Asiate.
80 Columbus Circle
NY, NY 10023