We somehow managed to get a table at Daniel at relatively short notice and I'm certainly glad we did.
Daniel Boulud sadly lost one of his Michelin stars for this restaurant and now has only two but there is still such high demand for tables here that there is at least a six week wait for a 7.30 on a Friday night.
The entrance is very grand with a bar but it did have a slightly stiff/stuffy air about it. Everyone was very formal and professional and as soon as I spotted Daniel Bouloud himself sitting in the bar with a restaurant critic I guessed this was probably the reason everyone was standing to attention !!
We were seated promptly on the edge of a large room that was beautifully decorated and with plenty of space between the tables to give a lot more privacy than we have experienced in other NYC restaurants. I even had a small stool especially for my handbag.
Our waiter came and introduced himself to us and efficiently explained the menu options and the daily specials. We opted for some classics, duck terrine and langoustine to start followed by duo of beef.
Rather disappointingly the bread selection was miserable. It looked good and sounded interesting but inside it was chewy and lacked any of the flavour that it was described as having. I really don't know why restaurants in the USA appear to have so much difficulty with bread. It doesn't really matter what type of bread I order it somehow always tastes like a cross between sourdough and ciabatta.
Everything else was excellent - just as I expected it to be. And also i suspect as Daniel himself was there to keep an eye on things. We were treated to a tasty amuse bouche, chef's appetisers and even an extra dessert to share. this was all then topped of by some wonderful freshly baked orange madeleines.
We had a very nice conversation with the Mâitre d who then arranged for us to have a small tour of the kitchen which was great fun. Seeing how organised and smooth running everything was behind the scenes is always something I'm interested in.
It was a great evening and a fabulous foodie experience to visit Daniel but I'm not sure I'll be rushing to come back. Maybe it is just a bit too 'formal'... I'm not sure. It just didn't have the 'wow' factor I'd hoped for.
Daniel 60 East 65th Street at Park Avenue New York City.
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