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Sep 29, 1999 11:03 AM

Dinner at Danube

  • j

Had dinner at Danube last night.

I must say - and I don't mean to sound sarcastic - but the decor truly overwhelmed the culinary experience.

The entire restaurant is magnificant - I can't imagine the labor that went into the painting of the main salon. And, I'm not even refering to the Klimt-like portraits - which were also astounding.

The service needs honing. We actually heard a waiter serving a nearby table respond - "Your guess is as good as mine" when asked to describe a dessert. The he said, "We'll know what it's like when we see it." All around, the servers seemed awkward, crowding the tables and us, as well. I'm sure those kinks will be ironed out.

The food was delicious - but practically every dish lacked the sparkle, the piquancy and the refinement of what I remember from the original Bouley. (On the tasting menu, the portions were espcially small.)

Perhaps, it's just a matter of time. Myself, as a quasi-food pro, I'd wait for a change or two of seasons and go back again. I have an enormous amount of faith in Bouley. By the way, the two of us got out for just under $300 - which really didn't seem like a bad deal - just perhaps a bit much for an immature restaurant. However, I'm sure the price of the Tasting Menu will be going nowhere but up in the months to come. They did make a few menu changes to the menu to accommodate us without charging us extra.

To sum it up - expect to be dazzled by the room but don't have very high expectations for the food and service or you may well be disappointed.

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  1. s
    Sidney Berger

    If David Bouley"s Danube is anything like his other places, expect the following:
    1.Good food-of course very high prices
    2.Long waits (reservations mean very little)
    3.Arrogant staff
    4.Bouley as host? He would'nt know the meaning of the word.
    Isn'nt it great that there are so many other wonderful choices in this town?

    1 Reply
    1. re: Sidney Berger

      I don't really share your criticisms of Bouley - although it isn't the first time I've heard them.

      At the old Bouley, I was always treated with respect, enjoyed excellent food and was never kept waiting. The only caveat was that one had to expect to take a long time to dine. Bouley never rushed the meal, rather I could sense the meal unfolding and opening up in front of me. Unfortunately, it was also for this same reason that later diners were kept waiting since the earlier diners were never rushed. It was wise to dine early at Bouley. I've had few superior dining experiences in New York to those I had at Bouley.

      I will admit that while Bouley was truly a value - Bouley Bakery truly was not. So, yes, it does seem that perhaps greed is coming into play. And, that is a shame.