Daniel is one of New York’s institution for fine dining and many chefs have came out of Papa Boulud’s kitchen. Here are the past two years’ accolades to name a few:
- 3 Michelin stars in 2014
- 2 Michelin stars in 2015
- #40 on the San Pellegrino 2014 World’s Best Restaurants
- #80 on the San Pellegrino 2015 World’s Best Restaurants
- #71 on the San Pellegrino 2016 World’s Best Restaurants
It’s been one of New York’s top restaurants from the beginning of time and held the coveted 3 Michelin stars since Jesus turned water into wine. It was recently downgraded to 2 Michelin stars. However, it’s still considered one of the top 100 restaurants in the world next to the most famous restaurant in the world, McDonald’s.
Daniel is definitely luxury and epitome of New York’s French cuisine. The service was great and the dishes were explained in good detail. However, the restaurant is a bit stuffy compared to other 3 Michelin stars restaurants in New York even though its been downgraded to 2 Michelin stars. I found the waiters to be a bit more snooty and arrogant compared to Per Se, Jeans George, Eleven Madison Park, Masa, Chef’s Table at Brooklyn Fare and Le Bernardin.
Maybe they have a chip on their shoulders since the downgrade like a guy who must consistently brag about his pack age size after he’s been dumped. I personally think Eleven Madison Park and Per Se provide a much better overall experience than Daniel. It’s like a porn star saying they’re too good for anal.
Now, the food. There was a prix fixe menu, which was 4 courses. In addition, there was a 7 course tasting menu. I decided to go with the 7 course tasting menu cause it was my college buddy’s first time dining at an establishment with Daniel’s accolades. Plus, I was paying so he didn’t have much of a choice. I told him to sit there and act appropriate. Also, I told him to not blow our covers and expose to the wait staff that we were actually a bunch of low-down-good-for-nothing-dirty heathens. Here are my favorite dishes:
- Sea Scallops Ceviche – This was the 2nd course out of the seven. It included Persian Cucumber, Radishes, Sea Lettuce, Finger Lime and White Sturgeon Caviar. The tangy sour flavors of the cucumber and radishes was really refreshing as it filled up my palate like drinking some orange juice while stoned. The soft scallops and caviar complemented each other very well like Cheech and Chong.
- Hawaiian Kona Abalone – The dish was accompanied with Rosemary-Tarbais Bean Puree, Braising Greens, Iberico Ham Shavings and Tatsoi Salad. The abalone was presented in it’s shell with the Tatsoi sticking up like Alfalfa’s hair. The abalone was very delicate in terms of its texture. The Iberico Ham Shavings topped the dish and provided a crispy contrast to the delicate abalone like smoking weed then taking shots. Actually, no. It’ll probably have your head spinning like a merry go round.
- Roasted Quail Breast – The dish included Pioppini Mushrooms, Romaine Lettuce, Crispy Legs and Green Peppercorn Sauce. They slow roasted the quail for a few hours and it definitely brought out the strong succulent flavors of the quail. The Pioppini Mushroom was fantastic and the Green Peppercorn Sauce wasn’t overpowering the dish like smoking weed with blunt wraps.
Overall, Daniel is a good restaurant in it’s class. It’s located in UES, so the patrons are old money. It’s definitely a more refined and classy experience yet providing a really stuffy environment. I would recommend Daniel on special occasions or not. However, I still prefer the tasting menu at my favorite restaurant called McDowell’s.
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- Service - 8.5/108.5/10
- Presentation - 7.5/107.5/10
- Flavors - 7/107/10
- Decor - 7.5/107.5/10
- Ambiance - 7/107/10
Daniel is one of New York’s institution for fine dining and many chefs have came out of Papa Boulud’s kitchen. However, the restaurant is a bit stuffy compared to other 3 Michelin stars restaurants in New York. Daniel is a good restaurant in it’s class.