And here it is. Asia de Cuba officially opens Monday.
Located in the new nightlife-friendly Mondrian hotel, Asia is the latest arrow in restaurant maestro Jeffrey Chodorow's quiver (it's also the latest restaurant in your quiver—and my, what a quiver it is). The design leans toward high drama with a future Victorian look (think Oscar Wilde on a lot of acid), so you'll see exaggerated proportions on everything from the bell-encased chandeliers to the massive lampshades (we sort of feel sorry for the lamps).
For maximum flamboyance, reserve the 24-person communal table (like Marilyn Manson did at the hotel's opening), complete with blazing candelabras and floor-to-ceiling bay views (you'll feel like a count...with a much better tan). For a little less of a show, head for the "Kissing Gardens South," a series of hedge-framed, massive wooden-tabled al fresco dining areas. Start with beef dumplings and mango ponzu, and work your way toward a palomilla of roasted lamb, Cuban barbecue chicken and sides of lobster-boniato mash. And lots of sake.
Remember, you're in mourning.