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Daniel- a Huge Disappointment

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Yes, the restaurant is beautiful. Yes, the service was wonderful. But shouldn't it be all about the food?

It started with three amuses- delivered by a waiter who really didn't know what was in them. The three of them were bland as could be. The next amuse was a gorgonzola cleanser, which was fine.The bread service was wonderful, with three types of butter put on the table.

For appetizers, the three people I was with had the +$25 supplement of foie gras. All three people said it was bland without much flavor. My appetizer of the scallops in pistachio and licorice sauce had excellent flavor, except the two scallops were watery in the middle when biting into them. Were these frozen scallops? I find that hard to believe, but don't have another explanation. This said, this was the best thing we all ate this night.

We decided to do a second course of truffle pasta. The 12 mini ravioli's that came in the giant bowl were perfectly cooked. And the production of shaving the truffles was fine, until the truffle shaver broke mid shave...having him find another one, letting the pasta cool even more, and then shaving on a few more strands of truffle. This dish was minute, yet cost a cool $140.

For main courses one person had the +$16 grouse, which was described as quite gamey with a pronounced flavor. It should have been described as being a bird with a cool name with no flavor.

Two people had the +$14 duo of beef, and neither one of them raved about their dish either. Me, I had the bluefin tuna- three small slices of tuna, one being the belly, the other being the loin, neither of them being very good.

We ordered a couple of desserts which were fine, the gelato was outstanding, but then a weird thing happened. Out came the coffee with dessert, and the after desserts as well. Like dinner service was over, bye.

Needless to say, Daniel is not inexpensive. Add the supplements, and drinks and/or wine, and you're looking at at least $250 per person for dinner. For these prices, everything should be sublime.

All in all, it was a lovely evening, dampened only by not such great food. The service, the place as I said were fantastic....but what happened to the food?

One last note. Last week we had dinner at Piora, a new little restaurant on Hudson Street. While it wasn't as opulent as Daniel, the service was wonderful, the place beautiful, and each and every morsel of every course we ate was amazing. It was like a mini Daniel, with great food. This is what I expected from Daniel- it didn't happen and it was a huge disappointment.

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  1. That's because you are not a regular there. ha.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Monica

      So you mean to say they serve different food to different people? Or one chef makes for the regulars, and another for the "non regulars"? I highly doubt that.

      1. re: sockster

        Monica was probably referencing the "infamous" Pete Wells review regarding the level of service afforded to regulars v. non-regulars.

        1. re: Spiritchaser

          As I wrote, the service was wonderful!

          1. re: sockster

            We've always had both wonderful service AND incredible food at Daniel so I'm disappointed to hear your evening wasn't all 'round great.

    2. Sorry to hear that. May be it was a bad night? I really don't know.

      Daniel has always been great in terms of both service AND food since when I was not a regular visiting New York only once a year, until now when I am a regular living in the city.

      For me, the biggest disappointment among fine dining places these days is Per Se's desserts. Their desserts have seriously dropped in quality compared to many years ago.

      1. I'm not sure you can hold the broken truffle shaver against them- it wasn't intentional....it still sucks that happened regardless

        1. You are not alone. Other than a butternut squash soup that was outstanding, I haven't eaten anything memorable in my three meals at Daniel (one was a private dinner with items from their regular menu).

          2 Replies
          1. re: Dave Feldman

            Dave-my experiences exactly reflects yours. Beautiful space but food was non memorable.

            1. re: Dave Feldman

              Dave, if you haven't, try Piora---(and their off the menu steak)- to die for!!

            2. I have to agree, the service and decor are top notch but I was not nearly as impressed with my meal. This is not to say that everything wasn't very good but it was far for the spectacular meal I had anticipated. Nothing was memorable.