Le Bernardin or Daniel? Which would you choose?
Well my culinary trip to NY is coming up very soon and already have reservations for Per Se and plan on making reservations for Jean George, WD- 50, Babbo, EMP, Gilt and I made a dinner reservation for Le Bernardin but now I'm thinking going towards Daniel. I know one is seafood and the other French inspired but if yall had to choose one for a solo diner which would you choose? I will of course be getting the tasting menu. Would love yalls feedback as I will be having to start making my 1 month in advance reservations next week.
You have quite the culinary line-up there, including my favorite NYC restaurant, EMP. :-)
I am not a fan of Le Bernardin, so for me, the choice is easy -- Daniel.
Our experience at Le B. was many years ago, and the reasons we haven't gone back are as follows:
1. Our reception upon arrival was far from welcoming.
2. Service at the table was so icy, they could have turned off the a.c. (It was a hot evening in June.)
3. Despite all their attempts at camouflage, I could not shake the feeling that I was dining in the lobby of an office building -- which is exactly where the restaurant is located.
Finally, and most important of all...
4. I found the food disappointing.
We have been to Daniel several times, and the cuisine has always been superb. We did have some serious service issues the last time we were there. But because we've had excellent service previously, I would still return. Though I've seen photos of the totally refurbished interior -- the uber-glitz has been replaced by sleekly modern -- I am anxious to see it in person.
Well, both are good restaurants but I'm leaning towards Le Bernardin considering your lineup. Unlike RGR, I've never had a problem with service there. However, I do agree with RGR that decor is kind of stuffy and corporate. Personally, I like the food there. One of my favorite dishes is the raw tuna and foie fras -- really simple but perfectly executed. Le Bernardin is a seafood restaurant but it is also French inspired. The food is very subtle -- probably on the other end of the spectrum of Babbo. So that's the reason I would put it in there -- for balance.
I know you've already got a terrific lineup, but you may also want to consider Degustation, especially as a solo diner. French-inspired Spanish small plates with bar seating only. It's an open kitchen and always fun to watch the chefs prepare your food. Definitely not as high end as some of your other choices, but still some good food.