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Nov 3, 2007 11:12 AM

Where to eat Help!! Please Read!

I am planing to take my girl friend to NYC for her birthday and i am torn, I have heard great things about Eleven madison park but i also heard that Daniel was amazing! I'm looking for a great experience from top to bottom. i look at the menus and i cant make up my mind EMP has the duck for 2 that every one says is to die for, and duck being my weakness. i cant seem to make up my mind they both got great reviews for chow and the times! and the menus both are amazing to me in different ways to me.
So i am asking NYC best food critics to help me make my girl friends birthday a truly memorable experience.
Im staying at the Morgans hotel on madison so yes EMP would be convent but I'm looking for a great dinning experience!
Thank your help!!

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  1. Telling us about the kinds of restaurants, styles, foods your girlfriend likes would be helpful. Also, are you people who go to high-end restaurants a lot or is this a rare occasion?

    1. You can make a great evening within walking distance of the Morgans. Start with drinks at Flatiron Lounge on 19th Street with a great dinner at EMP. A special evening indeed.

      1. Definitely go to EMP; food, decor and service are wonderful!

        1. My nod will ALWAYS go to Daniel when looking for a special evening in a high end restaurant. Without a doubt my girlfriend's and mine favorite place in NYC. Personally it can stand up to any place in NYC based solely on food but then add to that atmosphere and service and it's the clear winner (IMO - and we all know how that goes).

          8 Replies
          1. re: Spiritchaser

            We had dinner at Daniel a few weeks ago for the first time in many years. True, the setting is sumptuous, and the cuisine is superb. However, there were several glitches in service during the latter half of the meal. None was super-serious but, nonetheless, they were unforgivable in a restaurant of Daniel's caliber, especially when compared to the absolutely faultless service we received at Eleven Madison Park and Jean Georges, both of which we've dined at recently.

            1. re: RGR

              Hi RGR,

              Do you mind talking about the service glitches that you had at Daniel? I heard that they have 12 cameras in the restaurant so that they can "monitor" the diners to ensure flawless services. I am curious what kinds of mistakes they can make given that they are already watching every second....

              1. re: kobetobiko

                1. My husband did wine pairings. He and I shared a cheese course, and whoever was responsible for bringing his wine didn't do so until several minutes after the cheese was served.

                2. My husband and my daughter's fiance ordered tea and requested that it be served after dessert. However, the person responsible for tea service showed up and began pouring it just as dessert was being served. My husband stopped him and told him to take it away and come back after dessert, which he did. We all had the distinct feeling that this was no innocent mistake but, rather, a means of trying to move things along because they wanted to turn the table. If they thought my husband would let it go, obviously, they were wrong.

                3. For reasons I won't go into, there was an extra dessert given to us gratis. We had all finished the desserts we ordered, but there was still something left on that extra plate. My daughter and I were about to shar3e what was left when a waiter swooped in and, without asking if we were finished, removed all the other dessert plates and all the silverware. Fortunately, there was a fork left on the extra plate, but it meant both my daughter and I had to use that fork in order to finish.

                4. After the tea was correctly served, the two teapots, each with a different tea, were set on a side table, thus requiring a waiter to do a refill. The same waiter who cleared the dessert plates accidentally poured the wrong tea into my husband's cup. He immediately recognized his mistake, apologized, and replaced my husband's cup. (Note: My daughter's fiance did not want a refill so there was no need to replace his tea.)

                1. re: RGR

                  youre right those are minor, way to minor to not recommend a restaurant
                  if it coming down to Daniel and Eleven Madison

                  go for Daniel it is defintely more of a "blow out" special occasion type of restaurant.

                  1. re: jvish

                    I have a story to tell that you will probably appreciate, given your recent experience.
                    Unlike your husband, one of my pet peeves is that every single solitary resataurant I have ever dined at will always bring my dessert sans espresso or coffee or tea or whatever.
                    FInally in the last 2 restaurants I made it a point to ask our servers why they never serve both together.
                    And I got a very interesting reply that matched in both cases:
                    The Vice Versa server smiled as he related that there are two different factions that handle desserts and drinks in most restaurants.
                    It is difficult for them to coordinate the two together and that is the reason that, unless someone like me specifically requests to bring both together, they will invariably bring the dessert first and the drinks afterward.
                    In your particular case I was struck by the fact that they actually served both together (most unusual occurrence) causing me to believe that the server was indeed attempting to turn over the table and get you out.

                  2. re: RGR

                    These are not minor service glitches (especially if they have cameras). I've never liked Daniel (I have previously had snooty service that I've never experienced at other fine restaurants like Per Se, Jean Georges, Aureole, Bouley or EMP). I've always wondered whether I should give Daniel another chance; now I know I won't bother.

                    1. re: ellenost

                      well then dont bother...Im sure your service was just so awful it ruined your whole week...Yes Daniel is terrible and has just lousy service and disgusting food you should never ever go there...please..

                      anyway..EMP is a wonderful restaurant but is really not in the same league as restaurants such as Jean Geroge, Per Se, Daniel etc...

                      1. re: ellenost

                        We were celebrating special occasions, were in such high spirits, and had such a good time overall that we didn't find these glitches terribly off-putting.

                        Service during the first part of the meal was stellar, all the servers were cordial (not a hint of snootiness), and the sommelier, in particular, got high marks from us for pleasantness and a great sense of humor. That helped to mitigate any negative feelings about the glitches. Plus, we got a great deal of satisfaction from not letting them force us out sooner than what made us comfortable. lol

                        All that said, I agree that these kinds of service faults are unforgiveable at a restaurant of Daniel's caliber.

                        We've never had service problems there in the (distant) past, and the food was superb. So, since we're curious to see if service glitches are now common, we do plan to go back.