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“An Outstanding Asian Restaurant”
Review of Tao Yuan

Tao Yuan
Ranked #5 of 108 Restaurants in Brunswick
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $30 - $50
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Breakfast, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Dinner, Breakfast, Reservations
Brunswick, Maine
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“An Outstanding Asian Restaurant”
Reviewed April 9, 2013

The Tao Restaurant arrived in Brunswick, Maine about June of 2012, not quite a year ago. Since its arrival it has become one ot the leading restaurants in a town of 21,000 that has manyh very good restaurants. Mother and daughter operate the restaurant with daughter Cara Stadler the chef and mom as chief organizer. The staff is superb and uniformly dressed. Cara has been an executive chef or sous chef in several top restaurants in Paris, Versailles, Shangai, Beijing, Singapore, Philadelphia, and more. Her youth hardly tells you of her experience. She takes a month each year to return to eastern Asia to keep current with her expertize. There are about 18 appetisers and entrees on the menu. All are nicely presented and flavored "small" servings, so Cara suggests 3-4 dishes per person. We often go with 2-3 couples, and 3 seems to be a good number of servings to satisfy the hungry and the less hungry in the group. We have enjoyed half a dozen visits to TAO and highly recommend this delightful Asian evening. We lived in Japan for 3 years, so we can compare with our experience there. Open 5 days/week, closed Sunday and Monday, and lunch Wed - Fri., Sunday brunch once a month.

  • Visited April 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Charles M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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238 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Brunswick, Maine
Level 6 Contributor
184 reviews
144 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 103 helpful votes
“superb food and service, not superb HVAC”
Reviewed April 1, 2013

What a neat place, and the happy crowd of diners was clearly enjoying the food and service. Even a meat and potatoes person like me found great things to eat, such as a superb General Tang's roast pork buns, which were amazing, light and airy puff pastries filled with excellent pulled pork. When opened, the aroma of just-baked bread wafted out. Also Asian slaw, crunchy and fresh, perfect. Veggies were fine, rice was a little bland, at least the white rice, to be expected. The service was a tad slow at first, since we had hit them at their peak dinner hour. There was a wait before a drink order was taken. The place was spotless, the kitchen was clean, and the noise level was moderate, even with a full house. There is a nice décor, with an attractive room divider painted with cherry trees. The chef came out and checked with the diners, always a good sign.

The one downfall was the HVAC; my clothes smelled of spicy Asian frying when I got home and went right into the laundry. Sort of like a mild incense stick - not really offensive, but there. Kitchen HVAC is really expensive, as you know, and places are hard-pressed to even meet code. An open kitchen exacerbates the problem. If you like the smell of Asian cooking, not a problem, but if you want to leave a restaurant behind when you leave, maybe. I'd say this is a pretty small problem considering the excellence of the food and service, but you can bear it in mind - or not.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank johnH1892DD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maine
Level 5 Contributor
94 reviews
69 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Great COncept”
Reviewed March 23, 2013

Many delicious dishes. But the delivery was a bit sporadic. We went when it was new though and the chef has won a ton of accolades.

Visited December 2012
Helpful?
Thank steph1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bath, ME
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
3 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
“Delicious, unique and very fun dining experience!”
Reviewed March 18, 2013

Tao was the setting for a "girls night out" with family in January and we had an excellent experience! The cocktail menu was very interesting and after sampling several offerings at the table the ladies all agreed that there were some great offerings in that category, namely the Beet and Yuzu martini. Our server Jeremiah was very friendly and helpful in advising us on how to best order for our crowd - the dishes are small plates and meant to be shared, and the chef doesn't send them out all at once, but 2-3 at a time so as to best pace the meal. I think we sampled all but 3 or 4 dishes on the menu and were extremely pleased. The pork buns are a stand-out! The chef stopped by to say hello, which is always a good sign, and the staff allowed us to linger over our food and drinks well past closing time - another great feature. Will definitely try again, for lunch and the Weds. "date night" with the prix fix dinner.

  • Visited January 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank bean1970
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brunswick, ME
Level 3 Contributor
14 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 35 helpful votes
“I'd add this to the list of top restaurants in Maine”
Reviewed March 7, 2013

If there were 6 stars, I give them all to Tao. Went with friends to celebrate a professional accomplishment. We shared 8 small dishes and found that to be enough food. Each dish would come out and we'd ooo and ahh over how it looked, then all of us would go nuts over the taste. We'd say -- that one had to be the best plate, but then the next one would eclipse it. It was a parade of amazing dishes. Considering we shared a bottle of Cava and one person had 2 glasses of bourbon, and 3 desserts, the price was quite reasonable -- $135 for 4 people. I think that's well within reason for the quality of the meal. The staff was quite attentive and when they learned we were celebrating they added a lovely "congratulations" to one of the desserts in chocolate sauce. The chef came out and chatted with us, asking what we thought and what we liked best. I had to pick the sweetbreads. The sauce they came in was amazing -- you could have put an old shoe in it and we'd have fought over it. Without a doubt, Tao distinguished itself as and outstanding addition to Maine's foodie culture. I can't wait to go back.

  • Visited March 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank eatinmaine
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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