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May 18, 1999 07:50 PM

Which is best: Daniel, Chanterelle, Le Cirque 2000?

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We want to have a superlative meal and we're trying to decide which restaurant to go to, Daniel, Chanterelle, or Le Cirque 2000. Quality of the food, followed by service, are the two requisites. Anyone out there with an opinion? Should we try Lespinasse with Delouvrier instead? Other suggestions?

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    Jake Klisivitch

    Superlative meal? The fried chicken, salmon cakes,
    collard greens, and potato salad at Charles Southern
    Kitchen and All You Can Eat Buffet on 151st and 8th.
    No doubt about it.

    Of course, the ambiance is a little different from Le
    Cirque and the wine list is not as extensive...

    3 Replies
    1. re: Jake Klisivitch

      Jake--Charles has, alas, gone downhill. Too busy, not spending enough time cooking personally, having helper
      problems, cutting corners, etc etc. Mac and cheese is starchy/overcooked, chicken is merely good (frying and battering not being done carefully), collards
      taste burnt. It's happened twice in a row.

      I even met a non-friendly customer there. Zeitgeist.

      1. re: Jake Klisivitch

        Thanks for all the suggestions. I think the Daniel's have it. We ate at Jean-Georges too recently; I was disappointed at Lutece; and Chanterelle is not consistent enough in our experience. It's too bad about the Harlem cafeteria; the days of good cheap feasting are disappearing in this city.

        1. re: Andrew Coe


          "the days of good cheap feasting are disappearing in this city."

          I'm not sure about "cheap" (I generally just try to eat the best I possibly can, and fortunately for my budget I don't crave foie gras and champagne more than once every couple of months), but there's always been overwhelming amounts of wonderful off-the-beaten-track cooking being done in NYC, and always will be. Shoot, just take a look through these message boards; over ten thousand postings about places to eat, many of them worth getting excited about! And we're only scratching the surface.

          Yes, the scene keeps changing and old favorites are constantly breaking our hearts, but there's always new treasure (and hidden old treasure) waiting to be sniffed out. The sum total remains the same; I suppose the "Conservation of Chow" law applies.

      2. I've never been to those you mention but where
        attention to service AND quality of food is concerned
        I can't imagine anyone cares more or carries it off
        better than Danny Meyer. Of his four restaurants I
        know two. I just had a fabulous meal at Tabla.
        Grammercy Tavern is superb in every way. Babbo, too,
        of course is wonderful, but I've heard some unhappy
        things from time to time about the service. Wherever
        you go, let us all hear. pat

        1. d
          Dan Silverman

          In my opinion, Jean-Georges, hands down...


          6 Replies
          1. re: Dan Silverman


            1. re: RENEE

              Ditto. J-G is near perfect!!

              1. re: Adlai

                Quadruple ditto.

                1. re: E. Cornell

                  Here's number five: Jean Georges.

                  Have tried Daniel...a tad disappointed in the food.
                  Jean Georges knocked my socks off in every way.

                  Not to dis Daniel, though...the service was

              2. re: RENEE
                vincent maleche

                Daniel is truly outstanding. you are treated with
                respect and the food IS the best in the city

                le Cirque does not honor reservations. The quality of
                their food while good is not great.If Flash and being
                with the noveau riche is for you, you will like le

                1. re: RENEE

                  Jean Georges is the best restaurant i know of in New York.

              3. Between the initial three, Daniel is the best. Le
                Cirque 2000 is very good, but not superlative. The
                decor can be fun though. Chanterelle is fantastic, no
                complaints at all. But for the best NYC has to offer
                in French food you must go to Daniel.

                When there you must order the most expensive tasing
                menu, $120 I believe. You are going to spend a lot
                whatever you do, so you may as well go all the way.
                It is even better if you request that each cource is
                different for each person. They are also very
                accommodating if someone does not eat certain foods.
                The service is excellent. Wine is a little tricky if
                on a budget, but they do have some nice choices for
                under $100. The only real problem is the decor. They
                spent a lot of money on the interior, but didn't get
                much in return.

                Overall, though, it is a wondeful experience. Albeit

                1. Haven't eaten at Daniel, but Chanterelle and Le Cirque
                  are both terrific. Chanterelle would be the better of
                  the two, I think. However, for what I consider to be
                  the best fancy-schmancy meal in town, I'd say it's
                  Lutece, hands down. The food is superb and the
                  service is the same.