I've waited a long time to visit Daniel Boulud's top New York restaurant. Daniel has been given perfect ratings by the New York Times, Michelin and Time Out New York and is known to be one of the best restaurants in New York if not the world (speaking of which, it was on The San Pellegrino 50 World's Best Restaurants list). The restaurant is one of the most celebrated in all of New York and its also one of the most difficult to get a reservation to. Daniel was recently renovated and looks more contemporary rather than its former design which was much older looking (Daniel used to use a lot of velvet materials in its decor). Now when you walk into Daniel you have the lounge in the front and the dining room in the back. The dining room is stunning to say the least. The first thing you notice are the extravagant chandeliers and the flower display in the back of the dining room. The service is at the top of what you get in New York. The waiters wait for people to come back from the restroom before pouring their drinks and the sommelier doesn't pour the wine in front of you (which is apparently proper etiquette).
Daniel doesn't stop at stunning decor and service, but continues with breath taking food. Actually before I start with the food, I would like to mention that the wine "list" at Daniel is more like a Wine "Bible". The time it would take me to consume the entire 3 hour tasting menu is the time it would take for my parent's to read the entire wine list. Now, on to the food. To start we had an amuse bouche of Octopus Salad, Radish Puree and Beet Salad. My personal favorite was the Radish Puree but each dish was fantastic and so rich in flavor. Then Daniel "Wowed" me again with the Trio of Spanish Mackerel with Cumin, Carrot Mousseline Tartar and Caviar. The Duo of Wild King Salmon and Fillet of Red Mullet was also fantastic. The flavors in both of these dishes were extremely rich and if the portion size were any bigger I don't think I could have consumed the entire tasting menu.
After all three fish dishes, I was served a Duo of Beef. One was a braised short rib with onion confit in a red wine sauce and the other was a Wagyu Tenderlion with chanterelles, green asparagus in a tellicherry pepper jus. This dish was absolutely Divine in both its preparation and taste. The Wagyu was my personal favorite as the Tellicherry sauce was perfect, but both beef tastings were phenomenal.
Though I was a bit excited for a Grand Marnier Soufle (which sadly Daniel doesn't make anymore) I did taste the Warm Guanaja Chocolate Coulant with liquid caramel, fluer de sel served with a milk sorbet and a Blueberry and Hibiscus Vacherin. The Chocolate Coulant (essentially a warm chocolate cake) was incredible. The chocolate was so rich (that seems to be the word to sum up all of the flavors of the cooking at Daniel) and the milk sorbet's flavor went well against the chocolate flavors. The Hibiscus Vacherin (basically a Blueberry and Hibiscus tart) was also fantastic. The fruit used was fresh and all the flavors (the sweetness from the meringue and the tart flavors from the blueberries) blended well together.
I can honestly say that Daniel is the best restaurant I have been to. It combines perfect decor, food and service all into one place. I can't think of one complaint I have with Daniel. Each dish I had was fantastic and the service was the best I ever had. As the Italians would say ""See Naples and die", one could also say "Eat at Daniel and die".