Upcoming Birthday Dinner (Corton, Daniel) - Please weigh in
ok, my birthday is approching (May 13) and every year my aunt and uncle take me out for a really nice dinner....I have already been to a bunch of the top places: Le Bernadin, Cru, Blue Hill (although I would love Blue hill stone barns - I am not sure that is a viable option), Eleven Madsion Park, Aureole, Bouley, L'Atelier de Joel Rubichon, Veritas, Picholine) and always like the bday event to be a new place... I think Per Se and Masa may be over the top, although I would like to have a dish or two from the Salon menu Per Se at somepoint. Any thoughts on Corton or Daniel. Other reccomendations would also be appreciated.
You say you've been to Veritas, but have you been there since Chef Gregory Pugin took over the kitchen last summer? If not, I highly recommend it for your birthday dinner. Although the space's decor has not changed (a very good thing, in my view, since I find it exceptionally appealing), Pugin's cuisine is quite radically different from Scott Bryan's New American. That is to say, Pugin, is cuisine is French. (He previously worked with Robuchon.) We recently had the 8-course tasting menu, and it was, first bite to last, totally sensational! There is still, of course, the extraordinary wine list. Service remains cordial and professional. In sum, I think Veritas is the perfect place to celerate a special occasion.
You do not mention having been to Jean Georges, so if that is the case, it's another restaurant I would recommend for a celebratory meal since it has the whole package: superb cuisine, faultless service, and lovely ambiance.
With regard to Daniel, although the food is always excellent, one can much too easily fall prey to service problems. Therefore, I would caution against choosing it for a special occasion meal.
We have not been to Corton.
Thank RGR for your always helpful input. I believe I was there prior to Pugin, so that is a definite possibility since the location is also quite convenient. I have been to Jean Georges for lunch several times, and Nougatine for dinner - would it be that different to go for dinner? I have heard the mixed reviews of Daniel, which is why I have been hesitant to choose it in the past and appreciate you confirming my suspicion. I also should mention I have been to Gramercy Tavern as well.
Thanks for the compliment, kesues. :-)
I've not eaten in Nougatine, but one does have to walk through in order to get into the formal dining room. While the atmospherics in Nougatine look quite pleasant, the ambiance in Jean Georges is far more elegant and, therefore, in my view, it has a more celebratory feel. That said, if you've been to Nougatine enough times to sample the range of Jean-George's cuisine -- all his signatures + others -- then it would probably be better to go elsewhere.
Personally, I would not choose the lounge at Per Se because sitting on a couch and having to eat slumped over a coffee table doesn't particularly appeal to me, especially for a celebration meal.
We've yet to get to The Modern, but our daughter and son-in-law have had dinner in the formal dining room and were very pleased.
Gordon Ramsay at the London is on my "go to" list. We have eaten in G.R.'s more casual restaurant, Maze, and the food was delicious.
Also on my "go to" list: Alain Ducasse's Adour.