Has anyone been to Chanterelle lately? Is it worthy? It's been on my list for so long, would rather go somewhere else than be disappointed. Thank-you.
I really love Chanterelle, although opinions differ. The food ranges from skilled to hyperdelicious, and the cheese board (lovingly presented) is phenomenal. The real reason, though, that I love Chanterelle is the atmosphere. The room is big and spacious and quiet - a serene treat in New York (even so many really expensive restaurants are squished or noisy), simple yet elegant (no Adam Tihany over-the-top here). The service is totally professional (the same skilled waiters have been working there for years), yet laid back and unthreatening in a way that the mid-town Frenchies can never be. The sommelier is delightful and just as pleased to help you find a good inexpensive wine that goes with your food as he would be if you said you were going to drop $200 on a bottle. You can linger at your table over cheese and port for hours and hours and hours... drowsy and full. I guess what sums it up best is that my parents, who are not fancy people and who don't have expensive clothes and who don't eat at expensive restaurants unless I take them there, are always made to feel completely at their ease at Chanterelle. That is a really rare thing for a fancy NY restaurant.
Indeed, the service and decor at Chanterelle is nice, but the food as you mentioned is variable. Some of the dishes can be overcooked or just ordinary. If you are saving up for a special dining experience I'd rather go to Danube at this time, even though on my second visit to Danube, the sauces were not quite as good as the first visit. However, even the dishes that were not great at Danube were still good. The crepes and the catalina creme brule (a very small portion)were great desserts at Danube and the appetizer of a trio of fois gras, veal, and "something" was delicious.
re: Claire Li
My wife & I had a horrible experience at Chanterelle. Skip it. The service was poor, and we've been on an 18 month long quest to eat at all the best spots (before we have kids & can't) & there are better places to go.
We really liked Le Bernardin, Daniel and Il Mulino. I really liked Il Mulino so I was disappointed to read the bad review, but it was a company event, so....
Le Bernardin had amazing seafood & outstanding service. For less money I suggest Thalia on 50th & 8th.