If you haven’t heard of the TAO Group, you should probably get out a little more. Partners Marc Packer, Richard Wolf, Noah Tepperberg, and Jason Strauss consistently bring their talents together to create New York’s hottest nightlife and restaurant venues. We had know more, so Haute Living went on a culinary tour with the TAO Group to five of their New York staples.
There is so much to say about TAO Group’s newest feat VANDAL. While upon entering you might expect this place to be more about the scene and less about the eats, you’d be very wrong. VANDAL uses the elements of street food and street art that are integral to New York City and infuses them into an upscale dining experience. They have drawn inspiration from street food in countries like Peru and Vietnam to give you a taste of different cultures with their own special gourmet twist. The Korean rice cakes and shrimp arepas are to die for. VANDAL is simply the type of venue that keeps on giving. From the collection of work from famous street artists to their three stunning dining rooms and a lounge downstairs, you could spend all day and night here. Let’s just say the first stop on this tour was a total success.
2 TAO Downtown
You could never spend too much time at TAO Downtown. This iconic New York staple has survived the city’s brutal test of time. Any celebrity you could think of has dined in TAO’s orient-inspired multi-level space. The grand venue was designed to feel as if it has been there for decades and only unearthed recently to reveal the artifacts within. The only thing more luxurious than the decadent décor is the dishes that complement it. Think crispy Bao buns, chicken wing lollipops, banana leaf black bass and more. Don’t miss this stop on the tour for a chance to see and be scene.
92 Ninth Ave
Upscale Italian eats at the club? We think yes! Inspired by the original LAVO Las Vegas, the New York outpost acts as the perfect place for lunch, après-work cocktails, dinner pre-the club or for one of their famous weekend brunch parties. Gone are the days where you had to go to dinner in one place and dancing in another, here you can do it all. And when we say do it all we mean with the world’s best DJs by your side. You can’t leave LAVO without trying their Imperial Wagyu carpaccio, spicy lobster bisque and meatball with fresh whipped ricotta. Let’s just conclude with, you won’t be disappointed.
39 E 58th St
4 Beauty & Essex
Everything about Beauty & Essex is haute. Starting with their dramatic crystal chandeliers all the way to the pawnshop entrance. Since the LES restaurant opened its doors, it has taken the city by storm. You’ll find New York’s most notorious socialites and notables losing track of time in Beauty and Essex’s seductive scene. Executive Chef Chris Santos’ outdid himself with an innovative menu. His creative take on bruschetta named “Jewels on Toast” are a testament to his attention to detail. The roasted bone marrow with rioja braised shallot marmalade will be one of the best dishes you try in 2016. The tour just keeps on getting better and better!
146 Essex St
5 Stanton Social
We conclude our time with the TAO Group at the sleek Stanton Social. This three-level space is the brainchild of an all-star team of restaurant creators. Celebrity Chef/Owner Chris Santos, TAO and LAVO owner Richard Wolf, and Peter Kane of Happy Ending worked with the James Beard award winning design team at AvroKo in 2005 to offer you an unforgettable night out. The menu is a mix of cuisines from exciting culinary cultures allowing you to indulge in several sharing plates for a taste of the globe. Go for their French onion soup dumplings, lobster roll sliders, red snapper tacos, and the Stanton Social beef wellington. End your meal soaking in the ambiance on their 2nd floor bar and lounge. Your last TAO Group experience will be another that you’ll never forget.
99 Stanton St