Now I spend a lot of time in New York, and my favourite place to take people is Pampano, owned by Placido Domingo. It's what they call an upscale Mexican, in a townhouse in midtown Manhattan.
You can while away a few hot summer hours on the terrace and almost convince yourself you're somewhere tropical and far away. The key is to get a table upstairs, and not to be fobbed off with a dark, pokey corner downstairs. The staff maintain there's no difference, so you may have to throw a bit of a hissy fit. But upstairs you're in the eaves, with very high ceilings, white linen and these almost colonial fans.
The fish is excellent. They've got a taster of five different types of ceviche (marinated seafood salad), with fish like tuna and mahi-mahi, and passion fruit. They also do steaks and chicken. It's all very Manhattan, so there are no carbs.
In some places you wouldn't dream of having lunch without wine. But order a glass in Manhattan and you'll seem only one step away from rehab. So let the guest lead you. And keep the maitre d' in on whatever's happening, so that they can help create the right moment - almost co-produce it - for your guest.
209 East 49th Street, New York, NY 10017, Tel 001 212 751 4545,
Three-ceviche taster menu $26
Ceviche (various fish) $13
- Tashi Lassalle is vice president for strategic development at Heidrick & Struggles.