The Lounge at Daniel or.......?
My sister, her husband, and I are taking our mother on a surprise trip to NYC for her 70th birthday (She is always head to toe Armani, Chanel and Manolo Blahniks,,,,not your blue haired old lady variety of 70). I had wanted to do a Saturday night dinner at Daniel followed by the 10:30 set at Feinsteins, however the American Express Concierge messed up my reservation request and Daniel is booked! Now I must choose between a table in the lounge at Daniel or choose somewhere else. I was thinking Eleven Madison Park or Aisiate? Interested in others opinions - is a table in the lounge at Daniel better than any other option - and hope for a cancellation in the main dining room?
FYI - We have late dinner reservations on Friday at Minetta Tavern after a show. So I am really looking for amazing food and luxe environment for Saturday night.
Definetely not the lounge at Daniel! It is noisy and hectic and since prices are identical to the restaurant, it should be avoided.
Gilt has the most sumptuous dining room in town and the food and service are well worth the two Michelin stars they just received again.
Corton is indeed a good choice as well, but possibly a bit far from Feinstein's?
Personally, for the 70th birthday of such a stylish woman, I would not do the lounge at Daniel. She deserves something more refined.
Le Bernardin is an excellent choice, but only if she like seafood. Their menu is heavy on seafood items.
You couldn't go wrong with Jean-Georges or Per Se (again, the dining room, not the bar area).
11 Madison also totally deserves the 4-stars it recently acquired.
And while Corton doesn't have four stars, I think it's just because it doesn't have four stars YET. It is clearly headed that way.
Even if you reserve somewhere else, you can always stay on a waiting list at Daniel, if that's your preferred location.
I would 2nd Le Bernardin as well for a wonderful B-Day experience. I have, however, eaten in the salon part of Daniel and it is the same menu and service. See if you can have a drink or appetizers there and move into the dining room for the rest of the meal. Try calling the day of the B-day since they have cancellations after 3PM. Good luck!
If you're talking about this Saturday (10/10), it'll be difficult to get a prime time reservation at the top places. Opentable shows limited availability at Jean Georges, L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon and Veritas, but many restaurants hold tables. I'd try calling Le Bernardin, Corton, and Eleven Madison Park directly to see if they have any tables. Skip Asiate unless you're after decor and a stunning view over great food.
If you're considering the Lounge at Daniel (personally I wouldn't for a birthday dinner), then the walk-in only Salon at Per Se is a worthy alternative as well. You may want the security of a reservation though. If Le Bernardin is available, that would be my choice.
I second the Salon at Per Se suggestion. When I went this past weekend our party of 2 was seated right when we arrived at 9:00 on Saturday. Excellent exposure to the way a Keller kitchen works, same caliber of service, and more manageable than the 9-course tasting menu. I'd liken our experience at the Salon (in length and amount of food) to the three-course prix-fixe in Daniel's main dining room (which remains my top meal ever -- do try to get in if there's a cancellation). Enjoy!