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Danube

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  • Susan Marme Oct 22, 2000 06:49 PM
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Had a wonderful lunch at Danube on Hudson at Duane last Friday to celebrate a colleague's birthday - it is a beautiful room and would be ideal for a seduction or a very romantic dinner - Klimt-esque murals, comfy banquettes, very Weimar Republik (as I imagine it). Service professional but relaxed, not snobby.
We had:
amuse-gueule of sardine w/potato crisp, yellowfin gravlax w/beet oil, oxtail consomme - the latter 2 utterly delicious
me: grilled scallops/squid/crabmeat in a slightly tomatoey very savory herb sauce - I don't normally eat scallops but these were divine
her: sashimi-quality tuna w/beet and a vegetable mousse
an interlude of cheese ravioli w/extremely thin wrappers in a chanterelle and pumpkin-seed sauce (fabulous, intensely flavored, very sexy)
me: boiled brisket from heaven, topped with fine gratings of fresh horseradish, with broth, baby
vegetables, horseradish applesauce and chive sauce
her: halibut in a potato crust
both accompanied by pureed spinach and potatoes of incredible flavor and texture
an entremets of elderflower ice in elderflower soup - rather like lichee in flavor
shared desserts of pancakes with plum compote and farmer's cheese fillings with rum ice cream and Moscato dÁsti charlotte with Concord grape ice cream
petits fours including a miniature slice of Sachertorte
Prix fixe $35 - wines very expensive (we had glasses, 1 Sauvignon Blanc, 1 juicy lush Pinot Noir, $10 and $15 respectively, and maybe 4 ounces in the glass if that).
But go - it's worth it. Much more suited to a fling than a collegial lunch!

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  1. Warned by the reports on this board, I went to Danube expecting probably snobby service. Except for the man who took all of the food orders in our section (he definitely had no patience and had "an attitude"), everyone else was very nice, and the food was wonderful! Its been several years since our entire table has been very happy with the entire meal. The worst thing that could be said about the meal was that the freebie after-dinner treats were not up to quality of the delicious desserts. An appetizer of small chunks of fois gras, lobster, and delicate veal ravioli was a perfect blend of flavors. The sea bass entree was also served with a wonderful blend of herb and vegetable flavors. The venison was good (not great). The berry crepes were wonderfully light( more like pancakes) and the apple strudel was also light and crisp. The cost for a 3 course meal was $85 per person including tax/tip, no wine, just bottled water. I think that the 5 course tasting menu was around $80, but on the evening we were there, the choices were not as interesting as the ala carte menu. Although a recent dinner at Sono was very nice(including the service), the Sono's food did not bring out the ooh's and ahhh's Danube's food elicited. But I did not get the impression that Danube would let you linger over your meal for longer than the 1 1/2 to 2 hour time limit (unlike Sono) that most restaurants seem to impose.