60 E. 65th Street
New York, NY 10021
Daniel Boulud is a New York institution.
And now with his popular television appearances (in particular his After Hours with Daniel series) he has become one of the iconic chefs of America, if not the world. And while he is undoubtedly spread very thin with multiple restaurants, books, television, etc., he maintains a close watch on his main restaurant - Daniel.
Every aspect of Daniel (other than the current renovation pedestrian bridge over the entrance of the restaurant) is refined, organized and near perfection. The Michelin Two Stars seem stingy and the Third Star is mandatory. And while one expects, perhaps fears, that snobbery and haughty attitude come with such high class restaurant, nothing could be further from the reality of Daniel. From your encounter with the first person to the last, you the customer are king at Daniel.
The entrance, bar area and mini dining area in the front of the house are beautiful, but only a prelude to the main dining room, an operatic stage of flowers and lighting for the dining tables. Managers, waiters and bus boys glide through the room. Daniel makes an appearance and dinners do their earnest to catch his eye and be honored by his appearance table side.
But one comes to Daniel to eat and not to worship the chef and decor. And the food is first class. The classic to contemporary French cuisine displays the finest of ingredients, excellent sauces, and knowledge of American/New York dining preference. Everything is excellent - period.
The wine list is long, excellent in selections and very high priced. Finding an enjoyable bottle of wine for less than the price of a meal is a challenge.
Yes the price for perfection and elegance and a bit of celebrity is high, which makes dining at Daniel more frequently than annual birthdays, anniversary and receipt of Wall Street bonuses unlikely. But those annual visits are well worth the wait.
Daniel - Highly Recommended