It is upscale but unqualified to be listed on my all-time recommended top 10 restaurants, or maybe out of top 20. Even though, Daniel is still one of the best French restaurants in Manhattan no doubt.
Yes, it's indeed romantic, and of course, elegant.
Mostly, Daniel is quieter than other fine restaurants with the same semi-crowded layout by its formal atmosphere. You might naturally reduce your volume.
Waiters follow S.O.P. 95％, as smiling robots. However, I don't consider it gorgeous. Some senior staffs are slightly arrogant - the higher position, the loftier manner. This is not easy to be detected, but somehow you can smell it. Anyway, they are all well-trained pretending to be friendly and modest.
Joining a formal French banquet at Daniel, there's a serious dress code. Even you've got an rich'n bald dad named Trump, do not wear jeans and cap here.
For men, jacket is required. (*Sometimes in summer you might forget to grab it from home. Don't panic, customers can always rent one from restaurant. Hope you love that magician look.) It has to be "stuck" on you at all time.
Food here is amazing.
Typical contemporary French cuisine which is...um...very French. Nowadays, many French chefs use oriental elements for various purposes. Sometime it tastes like Chinese food while you get a "Thai food" answer from your waiter.
Although the black miso sauce on scallop rosette makes it kinda Japanese, overall, Chef Daniel Boulud did a great job, especially
This is good for some main drug dealers, Hollywood movie stars, famous hip-hop rappers, and property tycoon sons of bitches who spend money as easy as taking dumps. Fortunately, it also provides its own private label wines in pairing plan which are not that stupid over-priced recently during its 15th anniversary. This is THE REASON Daniel becomes worth to be recommended immediately.
$98 exclude tax and tip ( Approx. $300 for everything include coffee and tea for a couple ) for 3 courses with 3 glasses of wine pairings featuring new favorites and classic Daniel dishes of last decade. Portions are big enough, desserts are luxuriant. Definitely a bargain.
You can now experience a basic Michelin dinner night with whoever you wanna woo. Don't hesitate to ask for 15th anniversary celebration menu when a greedy waiter brings you the regular one. It will be provided from Monday to Thurday 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm through Sep. 2009.
After this event, temporary put Daniel aside. Unless you are willing to pay extra for the beautiful renaissance interior. By the way, Chih-Chung Chen had been to this place with his wife, Jui-Ching Huang, on Thanksgiving 2006. I hope that is not a minus.
Mon-Thu, 5:45pm-11pm; Fri-Sat, 5:30pm-11pm; Sun, closed
60 E. 65th St., New York, NY 10021
American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard, Visa