anyone been recently? I've seen pretty mixed things here and was curious to know if anyone felt like sharing a recent experience.
How does it stack up to EMP? I went when they had the grid format - $125 for the four courses plus a bunch of great little things (black + white cookies to start and finish, amuse bouche, egg cream, tour of the kitchen etc) that really elevated the dinner. Does Daniel strive for this kind of experience as well? And if not, what's a comparable place? I'm looking to keep it under $150pp pre-tax/tip/drinks. Thanks all.
We were there last week. Restaurant itself was beautiful; service was very thorough and attentive. Appetizers were amazing [I had a pea veloute with lentils; my wife had shellfish]. Main courses were a bit of a letdown [char was a little overcooked; halibut was served not quite hot enough; red snapper portions were impossibly huge]. Nothing was bad, but at their prices, you really expect perfection. Service was unhurried, and the sommelier was helpful. Wines were very good. We had a fun evening, but I'm not sure I would rush to dine there again. Whereas my meal at EMP [three years ago] was simply amazing [before he changed the menu; not sure I'd be interested in going now].
Thanks for the replies - I'll make sure to check out JG on the weekend then!
Bauskem - I feel the same way about EMP. Loved the grid concept and honestly at $125pp I feel like it was a relative bargain. I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed Daniel - though I have a feeling that I may feel the same you did in comparison to EMP.
I can only speak to my personal experience at Daniel and EMP (my one meal at EMP was post-revamp). I did the 3-course dinner at Daniel last summer and added on a foie gras course. Execution was flawless on every course. The first course - three rice flake-crusted scallops with za'atar - was kind of huge (three hockey puck-sized scallops) and tasty, but not really that exciting. Definitely not a "wow" type dish. The foie gras came out seared perfectly and was accompanied by almonds and juneberries. It was fine, but not really way better than a piece of foie you'd get at any other good restaurant. Daniel's signature beef duo, however, was tremendous. The chocolate-coconut biscuit dessert was fabulous as well. An extra mini dessert, a gianduia crisp, was kind of disappointing. Glad I didn't get that as my main dessert. All the little extras they give you (amuse bouche, bread, mignardises) are first class.
EMP, taken as a whole, I think puts out more exciting food. However I would go back to Daniel before I went back to EMP. Why? Because EMP's menu is now a schtick catering to tourists. Once you've gone, there's not really any need to experience it again.
I guess it really depends. As
much as I love and admire EMP, I can't go there frequently because they only offer tasting menu that doesn't change often enough. Chef is kind enough to replace some dishes but most amuse bouches, appetizers, and petit fours remain the same.
Daniel, on the other hand, offers a three course prix fixe and its menu changes monthly, which makes me go back every month! So for a person who dines out frequently, Daniel appeals more than EMP. Otherwise, EMP could be more interesting.