December 1, 2010

TAO Restaurant

TAO: A spiritual dining experience. That's what they say on the sign outside the Venetian in Las Vegas, and that same idea is certainly reflected in the interior decor of this restaurant. Dim lighting, lots of small candles, and a giant Buddha sitting atop a koi fish pond, dining at TAO was a fun experience. The food is a little on the pricey side, but it's a fine dining Chinese establishment - we felt a little underdressed in our jeans. The food was great though! We started with some plum wine - sweet with a nice fruity taste to it (and I usually can't *ever* taste 'fruit' or anything in wines...) then ordered a number of dishes to split between the two of us: shrimp and sweet potato tempura, TAO lo mein, and steamed vegetable dumplings with sesame and pickled cucumber.

First, what absolutely surprised me the most: the pickled cucumber was REALLY good. Cool and refreshing little slivers that you could easily eat a whole bowl of. They were a great palate cleanser between each different part of our dinner. The dumplings were the softest I've ever had and were a nice texture comparison to the other dumplings I've enjoyed. The lo mein was in a dark, rich sauce, and chock full of a nice array of vegetables. I'd definitely recommend stopping into TAO (they have locations in Vegas and NYC) - but get some of the more unique dishes (for instance, the tempura was good, but you can get it almost anywhere).

Where you can enjoy this yourself:

TAO Restaurant
The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino
3355 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, Nevada

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