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Danube or Wallse?

Any preferences amongst the group? Not necessarily for "authenticity", but more for overall quality/taste of food...I have a reservation at both, and I can't decide between the two.

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  1. Love both about the same. Just slightly different experiences. Danube is more formal (though not stuffy) and exotic (Austrian, which is my favorite cuisine--though many dishes are more Eclectic/Continental)while Bouley is more romantic and cozy. If it's your first time for both, I would give an edge for Bouley. But--make sure you stop by Danube for a drink (Danube cocktail--Austrian sparkling wine with elderflower syrup) before dinner. Nice compromise--and you can sneak a peak at the city's most gorgeous dining room on the way to their restroom.

    2 Replies
    1. re: eve

      interesting...I had sparkling wine with elderflower syrup at Blue Hill @ Stone Barns last night. It was wonderful. I finished (an incredible meal as usual) with elderflower tea...which was far different an experience. Ever have it? It tastes and smells like rye toast! Bizarre, but good.

      1. re: dkstar1

        I will look for it and also inquire at Danube--makes sense that they should offer it too. Thanks.

    2. I've only been to Wallse...but I'd highly recommend it.

      1. So rhapsodic is Eve about Bouley's cooking that she turned Wallse into Danube. Easy mistake!

        I think Danube over Wallse, although the latter is certainly good. But nothing beats the drama of the room in Danube, and like Eve, the elderflower 'cocktail' is a fabulous way to start an evening.

        - Sean

        1 Reply
        1. re: Sean Dell

          Got me!!! Sooo embarassed. Yes, it did misread the original posting. So, let me update my answer:

          I do enjoy both but again, Danube has the edge for overall experience. I choose Wallse when I want a very casual version of Danube. Depends on the mood/occasion. I almost want to recommend Wallse as an intro to Danube. (Don't tell Kurt G or David B I said that.)

        2. I ate one of the worst meals I have eaten in Manhattan at Wallse. I like THOR; have not tried Danube. Maybe it was an off night, but I liked nothing about the place. Service was fine, wine was fairly poor, but decor and food were both horrible. For the money, actually, it probably WAS the worst meal I have eaten in Manhattan. We tried some of the "signature" apps and even they were not awe-inspiring. Both entrees were inedible. But as you see, it has its partisans. I suspect Danube is much nicer, and I would certainly be willing to give it a try.

          2 Replies
          1. re: jonasblank

            Oddly enough, I had a mediocre experience at THOR. The food was okay at best, service was atrocious ("sorry, our pastry chef went home so we won't be able to get you your dessert orders") and remarkably uncomfortable from the overbearing heat (this was in the winter and the heat was way high) and noisy (the wall we sat against had a heating/A/C unit on the other side). I also think the room (wallpaper in particular) is ugly.

            1. re: dkstar1

              I thought the food at THOR was the highlight; frat party atmosphere at the bar was not. I suppose I'd like the room better if it weren't so loud (I heard only screaming drunk people on a Tuesday night, not the AC). I would still say that compared to Wallse, THOR is currently Gutenbrunner's better place.

          2. Thanks everyone. One more question - one of the diners isn't very "adventurous", which is why I was leaning towards Wallse (the online menu seemed to have more choices for her). Based on your feedback though, now I'm leaning towards Danube. I looked at that menu online as well and I think there's some decent non-Austrian choices for her, but can someone who's eaten there confirm that?

            1. Sorry to go against the grain of the previous posts, but I have to disagree. I was not at all impressed with Danube.
              I did enjoy the Danube cocktail to start, which was refreshing and delicious. After that it was downhill. The foie gras creme brulee with mushrooms was absolutely horrible. (I can't even believe I'm using the words "foie gras" and "horrible" in the same sentence, but it' true!) Sounded so awesome on the menu, and ended up being the worst preparation of foie gras that I have ever had anywhere. Period.
              The duck breast entree was passable. The meat itself was juicy and tender. The sauce was overly sweet. And the accompanying fava beans were a little too al dente (that's putting it kindly...). Desserts were acceptable, but nothing really stood out (aside from the quirky factor of the white asparagus ice cream).
              I also do not understand the claims that Danube is the most gorgeous dining room in the city (I don't mean to call out eve specifically...I've seen this comment several times before). Whlie the lounge area was attractive, I just found nothing stunning about the main dining room. I find Bouley infinitely more charming. In fact, aside from proximity and chef, I see no reason to compare the places. For me, the difference in quality between Bouley and Danube is night and day. Bouley is a wonderful restaurant, one of my favorites. Danube...not so much. The only comparison I was making the night of my visit to Danube was why I had not just gone next door to Bouley instead,
              Wallse, on the other hand, was much more consistent when it came to the food, I thought. The spaetzle with rabbit and corn and tarragon still lingers in my memory.

              1. Eaten at both & liked Wallse slightly better. Had the Wiener Schnitzel at both & just liked Wallse's more. I was born & raised in Germany so I am a bit picky regarding this cuisine and frankly have been disappointed by NYC's offerings in this area.
                I actually like the schnitzel at Heidelberg on 2nd ave & 85th-86th streets better than either of those places but the service is so slow there that you can read the entire Sunday Times cover to cover before you're served...
                On a tangential note I am having dinner at Bouley this Thursday and really looking forward to it. I've only eaten there once before, 2 years ago & remember it as being top notch.

                1. If you're leaning towards Danube, and I would agree with that decision. There is plenty for your friend to eat - fish, duck etc.

                  As for the room, it's not the romantic, low key styl of Bouley. It's a bigger gesture, and I'm with Eve, I think it's great. So feel confident, you will have a great time.

                  - Sean