Sun-Thu, 9am-1am; Fri-Sat, 9am-2am
1, A, B, C, D at 59th St.-Columbus Circle
American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
At the posh Mandarin Oriental's equally upscale lounge, mahogany walls warm up the ovate area, with two large panels of mod art adding the only color. But everyone is looking at the view — Central Park greenery during the day and flashing taillights whirling around Columbus Circle at night. Those who do steal glances at the menu will notice that it blends Asian and American bar bites, from dim sum dumplings to mini burgers. Spicy slaw and aoli enhance the texture and flavor of a tuna tostada, which makes a great late-afternoon snack. A messy lacing of pickled daikon and country pate accompany a French breaded Banh Mi, however, and sweet-mango ketchup, curry-spiced "barberi" sauce, and honey-mustard aïoli don’t remedy the dryness of those ubiquitous mini burgers. Such unevenness explains why the savviest travelers just pop in for a quick cocktail, or for teatime. Smarter still, opt to dine in the Mandarin’s “real” restaurant, Asiate, instead.High Tea
For $42, the tea service, daily from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., offers freshly prepared scones, finger sandwiches, and pastries.
Reservations are accepted only for hotel guests.
Afternoon tea, $42