TAO CARES Launches Mission for World Autism Awareness Month

TAO Group - Light It Up Bramble Cocktail 1

Global hospitality company TAO Group and TAO Cares announces its mission for World Autism Awareness Month for the fourth consecutive year. Once again, for the entire month of April, all of TAO Group’s restaurant brands nationwide – including TAO Uptown, TAO Downtown, LAVO, Bodega Negra, Vandal, Beauty & Essex, Legasea, Magic Hour Rooftop Bar & Lounge and Egghead in New York City; TAO, LAVO and Beauty & Essex in Las Vegas; TAO, Beauty & Essex, The Highlight Room and Luchini Pizzeria & Bar in Los Angeles; TAO in Chicago; as well as nightlife brands such as Avenue, Marquee, TAO Nightclub, LAVO Nightclub, and PHD – will raise money through sales of special “blue-themed” food and beverage items in honor of the official color for Autism Awareness. TAO Group will be contributing 10% of the proceeds of each “blue-themed” item to Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization; Eden II Programs, a school program offering a center-based full day program for people with autism/PDD; and additional World Autism Awareness initiatives.


TAO Group restaurant venues will also offer a signature blue cocktail called the ‘Light It Up’ Bramble with vodka, blueberry jam, fresh lemon, and simple syrup and will donate 10% from each cocktail sold to their partner organizations. In addition, 10% of proceeds from select bottle sales will be donated to TAO Group’s Autism Awareness campaign.

Light It Up Bramble

TAO Group also began a work-study transition program for students with autism. The goal is to provide students with the resources necessary to apply their academic skills and develop potential careers. Twice a week, students work in venue at TAO Downtown and Dream Downtown and gain the valuable opportunity to learn and assist in daily operations.

We are excited to build on TAO Group’s continued efforts to participate in World Autism Awareness Month,” said Charles Lerner, TAO Cares Engagement Coordinator. “In addition to providing financial support and raising awareness through our blue-themed specials, we are proud to have hired four students with autism to work in in our New York City venues and look forward to expanding this program throughout the country. As we continue to advocate for the improved quality of life for children and adults with autism, TAO Cares proudly looks for ways to give back to the communities that inspire us.

The World Autism Awareness menus will feature the following specials at each designated venue for the month of April:


Bluefin Tuna Maki Roll, Enoki Mushrooms, Black truffles, Soy Dipping Sauce

24-oz Aged Prime T-Bone Steak, Szechuan Potatoes, Chili Caramel Sauce, Scallion Kakiage

Giant Blue Fortune Cookie, White and Dark Chocolate Mousse


Burrata Ravioli, Tomato and Basil Pesto

24-oz Aged Prime T-Bone Steak, Fried Potatoes, Barolo Sauce, Gorgonzola Dolce

Blue Oreo Zeppole, Cookie Monster Shake, Cookie Monster Macaroon


24-oz Dry Aged T-Bone Steak with herb crusted smoked blue potato, sherry red onions & caramelized onion sauce

Blue Wonder Wheel, chef selection of Autism Awareness inspired desserts


vodka, blueberry jam, fresh lemon, and simple syrup


On Monday, March 25, TAO Group venues in New York, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and Chicago hosted a group of students with autism from local schools for a kick-off event for World Autism Awareness Month. TAO Group Partner/Chef Ralph Scamardella curated a culinary workshop, led in Las Vegas by TAO Group’s local executive chefs, where the students enjoyed making their own pizza and salad, followed by a tour of the kitchen and an overview of the variety of jobs held within a restaurant.


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