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Daniel


mikec
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There was something about being there.. it was almost magical. I dont say that lightly. I have eaten at many places, met many chefs and yet I felt a bit like I had walked into a dreamscape. From sipping lovely champagne while you wait for the table to the waitstaff performing ballet like movements when they serve you.. it was like a dream.. just beautiful.

It sounds like you agree with Michelin placing Daniel in the top three restaurants for "luxury". Do you think Daniel should have been awarded three stars for food?

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I dont know the politics of the rating system but yes I was surprised that this place was a two. In my opinion they deserved a three.

There's probably a fine line between the top end of two stars and the bottom end of three, and Daniel might well be at that line.

Several people have suggested that Daniel turns tables too aggressively. As an example of this, Daniel's long tasting menu isn't offered on weekends. It's as if the restaurant is saying, "The table is too valuable for us to allow it to be occupied for 4-5 hours on a Friday or Saturday night."

It is, at least arguably, a factor that differentiates Daniel.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 months later...

Daniel's Boon New York City Entry #80 Daniel

Three years back my wife and I had a sparkling dinner at Chef Daniel Boulud's eponymous restaurant Daniel. The meal proceeded without a hitch, but without lasting effect. I recall the room - an elegant stage setting for the drama of cuisine - and the lustrous service. Of all of the grand New York restaurants, Daniel's space is the most theatrical. Despite the elegance of the setting, Daniel never feels stuffy, and the servers, refined but not snooty, set the tone. Yet, without the aid of a blog, I cannot recall a morsel.

Recently a friend of mine and I returned to Restaurant Daniel, and the service is as smooth and sleek as ever, the flowers still bloom in profusion, the stage is set for dinner, but what of the food? Daniel Boulud is a perfectionist, and it may be a function of the fact that he was on spring break this week that I can report a few slips, and the possibility of dishes that will last in my memory. Perfectionists avoid the edges of creativity: Boulud produces dishes more silky than saucy.

Sometimes the best indicator of the quality of a restaurant is in what seems simplest: soup and bread. Here Daniel (overseen by Chef de Cuisine Jean François Bruel and "Bread Baker" Mark Fiorentino) hits .500. Daniel's soups are as satiny and intensely flavored as one could imagine. We were served small cups of Daniel's signature English pea soup "a la Française" with bits of bacon and a creamy garlic soup with watercress and morels. Although my previous culinary memories have been rinsed clean, the ethereal garlic soup will surely remain for years. The subtlety of texture and taste of the soupman is what Chef Boulud is known for. He rules!

Bread is, sadly, shabby. Although Daniel is one of the few restaurants that advertises their baker, our bread was hours from stale. We heard the clock ticking. We tried three varieties - raisin-walnut bread, olive roll, and sourdough - and none passed muster. They tasted like yesterday, and, in contrast to the beautiful bread display at Alain Ducasse, were out of character for a luxe restaurant. Two soups, three breads, a split verdict.

The trio of amuses at Daniel was were not revelatory, but welcome. The gougere was pleasant, not intense, and revealed again a "bread problem," although the crispy Parmesan wafer was appreciated. Better were smoked salmon with lemon creme fraiche and a spoonful of pureed squash with avocado that was spicy without overwhelming. Unlike the competition, amuses at Daniel are not attempts to amaze, startle, or frighten, but simple, confident curtain raisers.

I had convinced myself not to order the tasting menu, a decision that the restaurant supported by not permitting the full tasting menu on weekends and placing the most intriguing seasonal dishes on the daily menu. With Daniel's commitment to fresh ingredients, diners are well-advised to eat seasonal food. As March's lion became a lamb, we had our fill of cress, morels, fiddleheads, and, of course, spring lamb.

I started with a seasonal appetizer, Roasted Sea Scallops with Blood Orange Glaze, Cardamon Mousseline, Turnip Fondant, and Shaved Botarga (a similar dish is listed on the webpage). This is an impressive combine, and a very rewarding one. I was surprised, given the claim that blood orange would be a glaze, at how unobtrusive it was. The dish was far less fruity and more rooted than I imagined from reading the menu. The cardamon mousse complimented the scallop beautifully and, surprisingly, brought out the sweetness of the seafood. The plate was precisely fashioned, and given that it is a full-size starter, was a pleasure to explore.

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My companion selected a delightful crayfish timbale also beautifully presented, and like the scallops, displayed seafood luscious in its freshness.

As entree, I selected Colorado Rack of Lamb with Meyer Lemon Crust, Glazed Radishes and Avocado-Mint Chutney. As with my appetizer, I admired Daniel's composition. The lemon crust was an astute take on lamb, not too tart, but suggestive of the season. My lamb was cooked more than I preferred (I asked that it be cooked "as the chef wished" - tonight he wished to overcook it, or perhaps concluded that I was not the rare diner but only medium well). With the crust, a more moist lamb would have been more suited. The little logs of avocado-mint chutney were subtle and mild, less savory that they might have been in the hands of other chefs.

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Of the prix-fixe dishes, I was most taken by dessert, an angelic and blissful Champagne Mango Vacherin with Black Sesame Meringue "Ile Flotante" (floating island) and Lemon Thyme Anglaise. Next to the Vacherin, the parfait of "Ile Flotante" presented layers of egg white, thyme, and mango, the combination of fruit and herb was celestial. The snappy meringue was slightly sweet/slightly savory, and the mango had just hit its peak. Not ponderous or sugary, this dessert proved wise and crisp. Dessert at Daniel is no afterthought.

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Daniel is an essential Manhattan restaurant; a boon for New York diners. While grounded in French culinary techniques and modern sensibilities, it is not as Parisian as Alain Ducasse nor as Californian as Per Se; it is a happy outpost of an updated international cuisine. Daniel revels in a display of seasons, of technique, and of ingredients. Chef Boulud is not a big thinker; he is not revolutionizing contemporary cuisine. Rather his culinary explorations are based on the dish not on theory. No philosopher in the kitchen, Chef Boulud is a skilled synthesizer, borrowing, altering, ignoring, and searching for the best ingredients and most apt techniques. Chef Boulud's dishes never feel musty or nostalgic, but neither do they inspire tomorrow's cuisine. Daniel Boulud is a chef for now.

Daniel

60 East 65th Street (at Madison Avenue)

Manhattan (Upper East Side)

212-288-0033

My Webpage: Vealcheeks

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  • 8 months later...

Had dinner there last Tuesday. It's very good, perhaps at the border of three and four stars. Nothing really, really stood out.

Starters were the foie gras and the chicken consomme. The piece of foie gras was very large and very good. Maybe the best thing we had. The consomme was good. My friend wanted a glass of something sweet with the foie gras but didn't want to drink too much. Daniel offered a half glass (not on the menu) of Tokai for $6.50, which I thought was excellent customer service.

My friend had the fricesse of Dover Sole, whcih was a triffle overcooked. Fine, but not remarkable. I don't quite get the dish, it seems to hide the sole, which is not the point with Dover sole. I had the stripped bass with Matsutake mushrooms, probably the second best dish of the night, very good.

For dessert I had the spiced pears, which were very good but not remarkable and my friend had a chestnut thing that I think was made with fresh cheshnuts and not pre-made paste. That was the third best thing we had.

Overall, it was very solid, with some very good dishes.

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  • 11 months later...

Has anyone dined here recently? I may have the opportunity to join a friend for dinner here on a tuesday in December and was wondering if i should expect a wonderful meal.

thanks and regards,

Brian

Yield to Temptation, It may never come your way again.

 --Lazarus Long

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Has anyone dined here recently?  I may have the opportunity to join a friend for dinner here on a tuesday in December and was wondering if i should expect a wonderful meal.

thanks and regards,

  Brian

incredible tasting menu early in the year, Highly disappointing 3 course

last month

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Just your luck, I'm going tonight with the fam and will report back. I'm somewhat worried about this meal because I'm sure it will be very good, but this type of fine-dining doesn't so much move me anymore, especially given the price. We will see.

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Nibbled and drank at the bar a couple of weeks ago. The vibe of the lounge/bar area wasn't what I expected (it relaxed quite a bit in the 3 hours we were there, and they were playing Amy Winehouse - ?), but my peek at the dining room was. I don't love dining in such a formal setting and always heard very mixed reviews, so I never had any real interest in eating there.

Hunger and curiosity got the better of us after a couple of drinks, so we ordered and shared the short ribs/rib eye duo. I'm pretty sure the dish was $70-something, which sounds like, and probably is, an outrageous price. I didn't mind. The short ribs were hands down one of the best things I have ever tasted in my entire life. I had to call for silence while I had the bite in my mouth. Divine.

It was only one dish, but it definitely made me think that I might reconsider Daniel's placement on my list of places to dine. Am interested to get the feedback of others who are having full meals there . . . .

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I partook in an autumnal tasting menu at Daniel tonight. All in all, this is a restaurant to respect but not one to lust or pine after. gaf said it best when he summed up his experience in the following fashion:

Daniel is an essential Manhattan restaurant; a boon for New York diners. While grounded in French culinary techniques and modern sensibilities, it is not as Parisian as Alain Ducasse nor as Californian as Per Se; it is a happy outpost of an updated international cuisine. Daniel revels in a display of seasons, of technique, and of ingredients. Chef Boulud is not a big thinker; he is not revolutionizing contemporary cuisine. Rather his culinary explorations are based on the dish not on theory. No philosopher in the kitchen, Chef Boulud is a skilled synthesizer, borrowing, altering, ignoring, and searching for the best ingredients and most apt techniques. Chef Boulud's dishes never feel musty or nostalgic, but neither do they inspire tomorrow's cuisine. Daniel Boulud is a chef for now.

As I predicted, many of the dishes were extremely delicious, but I simply did not take away much from the meal. It progressed exactly the way I imagined it would. Service was technically very proficient if a bit formal and removed (as suits the room). Each course put its central ingredient front and center with well-conceived accompaniments to play up that main player's most distinctive traits. Foie was paired with a port reduction and quince, seared tuna with a spiced cumin-based rub and bitter grilled radicchio, a duo of beef with a deep red wine jus. In many ways I could see that this was the New York cuisine of Frenchman Chef Boulud. In other ways, however, this was also just exemplary "restaurant food" that lacked personality or freshness (in the philosophical sense).

The best dishes were, in fact, the simplest ones, expertly prepared. Not exactly what one looks for in a blowout fine-dining experience. A roasted scallop with braised and crispy savoy cabbage, porcini ravioli with a parsley sauce, the signature seabass with a simple potato crust. I see restaurants like Daniel and Aureole and Charlie Trotter's and The Inn at Little Washington (and to a lesser extent Per Se) of an older guard than the Eleven Madison Parks of the world that are now putting their mark on the present state of American-French-International cuisine. A restaurant like Jean Georges, for me, somewhat skirts the line between the two camps.

On the topic of comparisons, we were split as to whether this meal was better than a tasting menu at Picholine several months ago. While Daniel is undeniably the better restaurant overall, I found the cooking stylistically quite similar, with the edge going to Picholine in creativity. And I still find the work of chefs like Daniel Humm and Gabriel Kreuther to be more relevant, if not as important, to the current state of American fine dining.

By now this report sounds more like a reflection on the state of restaurants than a review of a meal, but I think a restaurant as significant as Daniel will always be a flag bearer for all its peers. This was a meal without technical fault but, again, one that failed to move me. I've come to a point, as jaded as this sounds, where I'd rather save my fine-dining dollars for truly unique meals. Alinea, Guy Savoy in Las Vegas, and meals earlier this year in Paris and Barcelona come to mind. Otherwise, I'm happy to eat at the likes of Tailor or wd~50 or Momo Ssam where, even with obvious shortcomings, there is more to take away from a meal.

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  • 3 months later...

I thought I'd share my experience at Daniel. My thoughts are below, and pictures can be found HERE...

Is fine dining in New York a relic of the past, a barely burning candle that was extinguished in 2004 with the loss of the old stalwarts Lutèce, La Caravelle, and La Côte Basque? Or was its demise ushered in more recently, with even the finest practitioners of haute cuisine — Ducasse, Robuchon, Vongerichten and Keller, to name a few — scrambling to either close their more formal eateries, open more casual ones, or both? And what about the so-called “New Paradigm” restaurants, vilifying table cloths and reservations, and venerating their smiling poster boy, the infallible St. Chang? For some people these are serious questions to be pondered, but personally I could not care less. Sometimes I just want to go to dinner.

And current trends be damned, I recently wanted to go somewhere nice. Someplace elegant, where I would wear cuff links and my friend would have a little stool to set her purse on. I wanted to be coddled, so to speak — both well-served and well-fed. And when you find yourself wanting such things, you go to Daniel. While Monsieur Boulud has not been immune to the lure of building his own little gastro-empire — with restaurants extending to Florida, Nevada, and soon all the way to China — his Upper East Side flagship remains unapologetically grand. Its ambience and its cuisine are immediately evocative of the way a grumpy octogenarian might claim things used to be. This particular evening was our first visit to the restaurant, and as such we chose the chef’s tasting menu presented in tandem. In no rush whatsoever, we ordered a few glasses of rosé champagne, my friend got the little stool for her purse, and we sat back and waited the show to begin.

As we sat in anticipation of what was to be a very pleasant meal, we took a closer note of our surroundings and I began to see hints of what makes this venetian renaissance dining space Adam’s favorite dining room in the city. For a relatively large room, the space is actually quite welcoming. Large bouquets of flowers are abundant, filling the void between the golden draperies and creme colored columns. There are two dining areas at different levels, an inner open floor with larger tables, and a slightly elevated perimeter of smaller niche tables that overlook the inner space. We sat at the latter, hiding in the comfort of our pocket table overlooking the balcony at the dining room below us.

Soon we received a plate of four amuses-bouche, or rather a beautiful tiered silver tray of them. There were four treats for each of us: a miniature parmesan tuile filled with herbed goat cheese mousse and toasted pine nuts; chickpea purée garnished with radish; a small chunk of lobster claw meat with fennel purée and lemon confit; and pressed artichoke hearts served on a crispy cracker. Each could have used something more, for example a crisper tuile for the goat cheese or another flavor to offset the sweetness of the fennel and the lemon confit — those kinds of small tweaks. Nothing here was necessarily bad, but as a whole the canapés were more impressive in number than in flavor.

Several minutes later the bread came around — raisin-walnut, olive rolls, and sourdough all baked in-house — and its timing was just right, as we each received our first courses moments later. I was given the Scottish game terrine with foie gras, spiced chestnuts, lady apple confit. The terrine was a beautiful meat mosaic on the plate, but was unfortunately served a bit too soon after bring pulled from the refrigerator. The cooler temperature dulled the flavors, preventing the nuances of each meat in the terrine from emerging. If nothing else, I at least thought the accompaniments — especially the lady apple confit — were well-chosen.

Meanwhile, my friend received the Duck foie gras terrine with port gelée, poached quince, walnuts, endive salad. Although I thought my dish read better on paper, it turned out hers was the tastier of the two. In order to avoid either of us having to envy the other’s dishes during this tandem tasting menu, we had already decided to switch plates half-way through each course, essentially creating a 13-course degustation (including our inevitable date with the cheese cart later on). So when the duck foie gras terrine was sent my way, it seemed things were looking up. It was creamy, rich, and very tasty. The port gelée brought some acidity to brighten things up, and the other items that ranged from sweet (quince) to slightly bitter (endive) really made for a well-balanced spectrum of flavors.

Next I received Yuzu marinated fluke with shiso, shaved crudités, lemon balm oil. This very Japanese-inspired dish at this very French restaurant was among the best of the evening. The fluke was of exceptional quality — tender and almost melting on the tongue, yet still maintaining some textural character. The dish avoided the common problem of over-marinating in citrus, and instead the yuzu brought just the right level of acidity to the complement the delicate flavor of the fish. The crudités and a long, thin sesame cracker provided crispy and crunchy textural counterpoints to the fish. And the shiso brought a just-perceptible minty background flavor that really made the entire combination incredibly cool and refreshing, even on this cold winter night.

My friend was unfortunately not so lucky: we both agreed that her dish — Maine peeky toe crab salad with granny smith apple, celery root, toasted hazelnuts — was probably the weakest of the night. I should have learned my lesson with an absolutely horrendous peeky toe crab dish at Café Boulud (I don’t even want to talk about it) a few months before this. But I didn’t. The next time I see this crustacean on the menu in a Boulud restaurant, I think I’ll just politely leave the table. It wasn’t not so much the crab itself that was the problem, but rather its discordant back-up singers. The shot glass on the left in the photo contains a layer of chunky apple gelée topped with sweetened celery root purée — a vile concoction not unlike watery yogurt with mealy applesauce mixed through it. The small cylinder of crab meat on the right was ringed with thin slices of radish and topped with lightly dressed greens. This all sat upon a sickeningly sweet purée whose ingredients (besides apple) I couldn’t quite identify. A few coarse chunks of toasted hazelnut brought a very welcome textural change here and there, but its flavor was pretty much annihilated by all the sweetness on the plate.

I don’t want to make it seem like that one dish soured the entire meal, though — far from it. Things were back on track with the Roasted Maine lobster with herb crust, savoy cabbage fondue, glazed turnips. Quickly steamed before being de-shelled and sent on a short trip under the salamander, the lobster had a delicate texture. Once I cracked its thin golden panko-and-herb crust, the meat within yielded to the slightest prodding of my knife, evidence that the lobster had been (correctly) just slightly undercooked. The buttery savoy cabbage complemented the natural sweetness of the lobster, while the glazed turnip, onion and carrot on the side were fork-tender and fortunately not the least bit mushy.

A course of Wild mushroom ravioli with sherry emulsion, sweet garlic coulis, parsley-celery salad was simple but well-executed. The pasta was neither too thick nor too thin. It had just slightly toothsome before it gave way to the smooth and earthy duxelles on the inside. The flavors of the emulsion, coulis and salad that made up the condiment for the ravioli complemented the pasta without shining through very brightly. But they really didn’t need to. This dish was all about the mushrooms, as it should have been.

Moving into a fish course for both of us, my friend was given the Chanterelle stuffed skate, creamy spinach, “carotte fondante”, Bordelaise sauce. Skate is one of my favorite types of fish, with the subtle sweetness and tender texture much like a scallop. Its flat shape ensures the development of a really nice crust when it is pan-roasted. This skate wing’s mushroom stuffing gave it a nice earthiness to complement the delicate flavor of the fish, and the spinach and the carrots brought a buttery richness that really lent a nice depth to the flavor combination. But the texture of the fish was unfortunately a bit dry and stringy, a sign of too much time on the heat and an inexcusable mistake at this level of restaurant.

There were no such problems with my Olive oil poached cod, sweet bell peppers, chickpea purée, chorizo was even better. It was again in a dish of non-French origins — in this case, Spanish — that I found some of my favorite flavors of the evening. The tender and mildly-flavored fish fillet was elevated — literally and figuratively — by sweet roasted peppers and smoky, peppery chorizo. The creamy chickpea purée brought these flavors together into a package redolent of olive oil, garlic, and pimentón. It brought to mind the beautiful Spanish countryside, or at least what I imagine it to be like, having not been there myself just yet.

Next we came to a meat course, and one that never seems to leave Daniel’s menu — the Duo of Dry Aged Beef — Short Ribs layered with Pasta, Black Trumpets; Seared Ribeye with Sunchoke-Potato Gratin, Salsify. The braised short rib was ultra-soft, and the black trumpet mushrooms and red wine reduction that came alongside it made for a luxuriously rich, earthy and meaty combination. Even better was the rib eye, cooked to a rosy medium rare. The meat was nicely marbelized, and had both a tender texture and a deeply concentrated flavor brought about by the dry-aging process. The sunchoke-potato gratin was great, like mom’s old-fashioned scalloped potatoes on steroids. A buttery potato purée and a single long piece of salsify — an often-neglected vegetable — also worked well with both meat preparations.

Our other meat course was Colorado lamb saddle with spiced goat cheese and pistachios, brussels sprouts fricassée, black radish, crosnes. We were hard-pressed to choose between this and the beef duo. There is nothing complicated here: just two properly cooked (medium rare) pieces of meat, one crusted with pistachios and slightly tangy spiced goat cheese and the other topped simply with herb-infused butter. The brussels sprouts were as creamy as you might expect given the method of preparation. And the crosnes are certainly uniquely shaped, aren’t they? Well here they were quite flavorful also.

Though it wasn’t listed as part of our tasting menu, as soon as we saw the magnificent cheese cart we asked if they might add in a Degustation of four cheeses for us. The maître fromager, whose name I wish I could remember, was very knowledgeable and he made it easy to choose a nice flight of cheeses from their many options. Starting at the top right in the photo below, we had some wonderfully ripe Vacherin Mont d’Or, nutty Mimolette, slightly tangy goat cheese whose name eludes me (he said it rhymes with “Chevrolet”), and almost smoky Tomme de something or other. Clearly I wasn’t taking notes, and perhaps the cheese guy’s accent was a little… tough to decipher, but either way, there’s no doubt that Daniel’s cheese cart is among the best in the city, and we really enjoyed our selection.

We had finally come to dessert, and my friend received the Bittersweet chocolate-praline crémeux, amer cocoa biscuit, dark chocolate crème glacée. This was so chocolaty that one or two bites was sufficient… Oh hell, who am I kidding? Sure, that would have been the socially acceptable reaction, but you know me better than that by now. My friend uttered one of the happiest phrases in the Englsh language — “It’s all yours. I’m full” — and I dutifully cleaned this plate down to the very last speck once it was pushed my way. Each element, from the mousse-like crémeux to the unapologetically rich ice cream straddled the line gracefully between bitter and sweet. There were no foreign flavor elements to complement or even compete with the unadulterated chocolate, and frankly, it didn’t need them.

There’s no denying that I’m a sweet-tooth all year around, but there’s something especially appealing about sweets in the colder months. So I was very happy to see the seasonal Four spice pumpkin mousse, speculoos biscuit, kriek-cranberry sorbet as the other dessert. We didn’t ask what the four spices were, but our best guess was cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. Whatever they were, they lent both good flavor and aroma to the mousse, which was delicious and very light in texture. The crispy and crumbly Speculoos biscuit was buttery and very flavorful. And the combination of cranberries and kriek made for a sweet-tart sorbet that countered the richness of the other items nicely.

We were celebrating my birthday on this particular evening and the kitchen was nice enough to send out a Spiced bosc pear with Vietnamese cinnamon streusel, orange pâte de fruit, Poire William sorbet in addition to the sweets we’d already had. By this point, my friend had long raised the white napkin of surrender, so this dessert was all mine. The poached pear was simple but very flavorful. It’s texture was fork-tender without being mushy or mealy. And the sorbet on the side provided contrast of both flavor and temperature to the pear. The pâte de fruit made for a tasty candle holder as well.

It would seem that we were done at that point, but there was more on the way — a napkin enveloping several Warm madeleines. This is a signature ending at Daniel, and rightfully so. I’m not sure if they’re the best madeleines I’ve ever had, but having these treats warm from the oven is what made this special. Small details like that can really make all the difference. When’s the last time a restaurant served you warm bread and room-temperature butter, for example? Exactly — that’s too long. My friend’s appetite miraculously returned, and we happily killed off about half of these delicious little cakes before I even remembered to stop and snap a photo.

Lastly, we had a plate of Petit fours. They wouldn’t want us to go home hungry, after all. There were several different things here: miniature macarons, coconut marshmallow, linzer cookie, chocolates, caramels and tarts. Nothing very remarkable, but petit fours rarely are. Those last few sweet bites are always appreciated, though.

By now, it was getting late in the evening and we were among the last tables (I can’t quite figure out why this always seems to happen) to finish up. We had seen Daniel Boulud making his rounds, chatting with a few regulars. I mentioned to our waiter that we’d love to meet him, and lo and behold, he came over and talked with us mere mortals. For about the next half hour. Daniel knows pretty much everyone in the NY restaurant industry, so it wasn’t long until we got to the “Oh, you know so-and-so also, eh? He used to work for me.” point in the conversation. He offered to take us down to the wine cellar which lies past the maze-like labyrinth of offices downstairs and back up through the kitchen, where we met the executive chef Jean François Bruel. Speaking with him, I recalled Adam’s story about how when he dined here, chef Bruel passed him a beer and invited him out for a drink with the rest of the kitchen staff — talk about hospitality. Daniel smiled and laughed with us, speaking mostly in English but also in French with my friend whose language skills far surpass my own. He really has a warm, vibrant personality and it was a real pleasure to have met him. But it was getting late, so we thanked him profusely and promised to return.

Overall, this was not a meal I would call amazing or exciting. In fact, I didn’t find the food to reach the same level as the other New York Times 4* restaurants, or even the fabulous Eleven Madison Park for that matter. But the overall experience is certainly a special one. I found the whole atmosphere to be incredibly warm and welcoming and the service to be knowledgeable and attentive but non-intrusive. Could I go back next winter and see the same exact dishes? Probably so. But the non-food elements of a meal mean something, too, and there’s a certain comfort in knowing I could go back anytime and get the same great service and enjoy the same comforting atmosphere. And of course, knowing my friend will always have that cute little stool for her purse.

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Phenomenal review, in fact on of the best I have ever read. Thank you for the time you took to write it and for the picture it painted for us that have never been to Daniel. I am making reservations as I type.

"My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them." ~Winston Churchill

Morels- God's gift to the unworthy human species

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  • 3 months later...

I must admit I am shocked by what you apparently receive for $105. Disclaimer: I have not eaten at Daniel yet, though I have a reservation for the 3rd of July.

At Daniel you pay $105 for 3 courses, including a dessert.

At Jean-Georges you pay $98 for 4 courses, including a dessert.

Daniel is 2 stars, J-G is 3.

I'm lost.

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Eh, you can drive yourself crazy with such price comparisons. While the two restaurants clearly have similar aspirations, I think it's hard to put restaurant prices side by side like that and start counting the courses. I say just enjoy your dinner in a few weeks and don't worry about it. I doubt you'll go home hungry. Besides, you can always console yourself with an amazingly affordable lunch at JG to make up for it if you come away at all disappointed.

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I must admit I am shocked by what you apparently receive for $105.  Disclaimer: I have not eaten at Daniel yet, though I have a reservation for the 3rd of July.

At Daniel you pay $105 for 3 courses, including a dessert.

At Jean-Georges you pay $98 for 4 courses, including a dessert.

Daniel is 2 stars, J-G is 3. 

I'm lost.

Restaurant pricing simply isn't that precise. I doubt there are many who divide price by the number of courses, then put it on a graph with the number of Michelin stars. To the extent they do, bear in mind that according to the NYT, which New Yorkers pay slightly more attention to, both restaurants have four stars.
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Eh, you can drive yourself crazy with such price comparisons.  While the two restaurants clearly have similar aspirations, I think it's hard to put restaurant prices side by side like that and start counting the courses.  I say just enjoy your dinner in a few weeks and don't worry about it.  I doubt you'll go home hungry.  Besides, you can always console yourself with an amazingly affordable lunch at JG to make up for it if you come away at all disappointed.

Actually, I disagree. One of my many problems with Daniel is the price, especially the number of supplemental charges that are found on a typical Daniel dinner menu.

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Eh, you can drive yourself crazy with such price comparisons.  While the two restaurants clearly have similar aspirations, I think it's hard to put restaurant prices side by side like that and start counting the courses.  I say just enjoy your dinner in a few weeks and don't worry about it.  I doubt you'll go home hungry.  Besides, you can always console yourself with an amazingly affordable lunch at JG to make up for it if you come away at all disappointed.

Actually, I disagree. One of my many problems with Daniel is the price, especially the number of supplemental charges that are found on a typical Daniel dinner menu.

I would agree, it's one of the few restaurants that I think is significantly out of line.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

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ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Eh, you can drive yourself crazy with such price comparisons.  While the two restaurants clearly have similar aspirations, I think it's hard to put restaurant prices side by side like that and start counting the courses.  I say just enjoy your dinner in a few weeks and don't worry about it.  I doubt you'll go home hungry.  Besides, you can always console yourself with an amazingly affordable lunch at JG to make up for it if you come away at all disappointed.

Actually, I disagree. One of my many problems with Daniel is the price, especially the number of supplemental charges that are found on a typical Daniel dinner menu.

I would agree, it's one of the few restaurants that I think is significantly out of line.

Aside from the hilarious caviar supplement, I only see three supplemental charges on the current menu. But I do think having any supplemental charges when the starting price is $105 is kind of petty (then again even sky-high-priced Per Se is not immune to this). All that said, I would never just do three courses at Daniel (or any restaurant with similar aspirations, for that matter). But that's just me.

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Eh, you can drive yourself crazy with such price comparisons.  While the two restaurants clearly have similar aspirations, I think it's hard to put restaurant prices side by side like that and start counting the courses.  I say just enjoy your dinner in a few weeks and don't worry about it.  I doubt you'll go home hungry.  Besides, you can always console yourself with an amazingly affordable lunch at JG to make up for it if you come away at all disappointed.

Actually, I disagree. One of my many problems with Daniel is the price, especially the number of supplemental charges that are found on a typical Daniel dinner menu.

I would agree, it's one of the few restaurants that I think is significantly out of line.

Aside from the hilarious caviar supplement, I only see three supplemental charges on the current menu. But I do think having any supplemental charges when the starting price is $105 is kind of petty (then again even sky-high-priced Per Se is not immune to this). All that said, I would never just do three courses at Daniel (or any restaurant with similar aspirations, for that matter). But that's just me.

However, usual the only supplemental charges at Per Se are for the Foie Gras and the Wagyu Beef.

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Eh, you can drive yourself crazy with such price comparisons.  While the two restaurants clearly have similar aspirations, I think it's hard to put restaurant prices side by side like that and start counting the courses.  I say just enjoy your dinner in a few weeks and don't worry about it.  I doubt you'll go home hungry.  Besides, you can always console yourself with an amazingly affordable lunch at JG to make up for it if you come away at all disappointed.

Actually, I disagree. One of my many problems with Daniel is the price, especially the number of supplemental charges that are found on a typical Daniel dinner menu.

I would agree, it's one of the few restaurants that I think is significantly out of line.

Aside from the hilarious caviar supplement, I only see three supplemental charges on the current menu. But I do think having any supplemental charges when the starting price is $105 is kind of petty (then again even sky-high-priced Per Se is not immune to this). All that said, I would never just do three courses at Daniel (or any restaurant with similar aspirations, for that matter). But that's just me.

However, usual the only supplemental charges at Per Se are for the Foie Gras and the Wagyu Beef.

True. And the occasional truffle dish. I'm definitely not arguing in favor of Daniel's supplemental charges, though, much less their regular prices. Not a place I'd signal for an exceptional quality-price ratio.

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Unless your heart is set on the room and reputation, go to EMP instead for that restaurant's tasting menu.

Although I have never enjoyed my meals at Daniel, there is no doubt that Daniel far surpasses EMP in terms of the overall dining experience. I was thoroughly unimpressed with my one meal at EMP last fall. The service at EMP was not up to par.

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Unless your heart is set on the room and reputation, go to EMP instead for that restaurant's tasting menu.

Although I have never enjoyed my meals at Daniel, there is no doubt that Daniel far surpasses EMP in terms of the overall dining experience. I was thoroughly unimpressed with my one meal at EMP last fall. The service at EMP was not up to par.

And, for every head there's a tail. My experience was exactly the opposite.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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