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Lounge dining at Daniel

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I was able to secure reservations at Daniel in a couple of weeks, but I am concerned because they did not have a table in the dining room--only in the lounge. I was planning for this to be the best dinner and dining experience of our trip and am worried that we may not get the same treatment/service/menu if we are sitting in the lounge. Are my concerns valid or am I lucky just to have an 8 pm Saturday night reservation?

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  1. i prefer lounge dining, especially on a date. it is more intimate and sexy. IMO, the dining room is too bright, stuffy, and the average age of the diners seemed to be in their 50-60s when i went on a sunday night. it's been awhile since i've visited, but i remember being able to order a la carte in the lounge. if you are doing the full-blown pre-fixe menu, then you may feel a little jipped out of the daniel experience.

    6 Replies
    1. re: neverfull

      It isn't possible for you to have been to Daniel on a Sunday because it's closed on Sunday. Perhaps, you are confusing it with Cafe Boulud, Daniel Boulud's second-tier restaurant, which is open on Sunday.

      1. re: RGR

        i dined in the main dining room 4 - 5 years ago, since then i've only dined in the bar. it was a sunday evening. i remember some speed shopping at bergdorf's and gucci that afternoon before they closed. i know where daniel is. it's a few doors down from valentino. cafe boulud is much farther uptown and i don't remember a bar there.

        1. re: neverfull

          True, Cafe Boulud does not have a lounge. And, yes, Valentino and The Mayfair, where Daniel is located, are at 65th St. However, I still think you're wrong about being at Daniel on a Sunday.

          Daniel's Hours of Operation Here: http://danielnyc.com/daniel/main.html

          1. re: RGR

            RGR, do you have an opinion on the dining room vs. the lounge?

            1. re: johnnolesmd

              FWIW - saw this on their website:

              "Dinner Monday through Saturday, 5:45 P.M. to 11:00 P.M. Bar and Lounge, for cocktails, after dinner drinks and lighter fare, open Monday through Saturday, 5:45 P.M. to 11:30 P.M. Closed Sundays and major holidays. "

              To me that sounds like you're not getting the same menu in the lounge. I've only eaten in the main dining room.

              1. re: johnnolesmd

                Hey, john,

                I've never eaten in the lounge. We haven't been to Daniel since shortly after they moved to The Mayfair. So, it's been a really long time. However, we are about to remedy that because we have reservations there in a few weeks. They are for the dining room.

                Since you say you want this "to be the best dinner and dining experience of our trip," frankly, if it were me in that position, I wouldn't do it in Daniel's lounge.

                It's true that it can be difficult to get a prime time reservation in the dining room; however, if you really want to dine there, my advice is be flexible and be willing to take either a very early (5:30 to 6:30) or very late time slot (after 9). We chose to dine early and had no difficulty reserving at 6.

                Edited to add: I just read idia's second post below. Even if they do offer the regular menu in the lounge, I would still prefer the formal dining room. Again, that's just me. But if all that matters to you is being able to have the same cuisine, then go for it.

      2. You know, it really is different strokes for different folks.
        When I looked at that vast and elegant dining room as opposed to the small, intimate and charming upstairs lounge, my tastes went right to the lounge.
        The same thing happened to me at David Burke and Donatella.
        I consider it a plus to be "shuffled" to the outer, more private dining areas. So give me the lounge every time!
        With a place the reputation of Daniel, I highly doubt that seated in the lounge you will get inferior service. (In fact, you may get even MORE attention!)
        Of course, if youe tastes are not like mine, and you prefer the cameraderie of people watching and more formal digs, you really should opt for the more sumptous dining room.
        Bon appetit.

        1. I just spoke with a person at the restaurant who assured me that one who prefers to sit in the lounge will get the same menu as the dining room plus an a la carte menu.
          They also offer lighter choices for people who wish to come in maybe for after-the-theater light dinners.