on October 19, 2006
Daniel was rated one of the top restaurants in America by Gourmet magazine. Our experience suggests the high rating is well deserved. The Daniel experience starts with the elegant look of the restaurant. The dining room is very architectural with columns, arches and draperies surrounding the main dining area with additional tables on a slightly elevated area surrounding. There is a hum of noise but somehow, we never really heard others’ conversations intruding into our conversation. The colours create a warm golden look, classical music plays softly in the background, and the staff are calm, polite, and efficient. It all makes for a rather intimate feel when dining.Dinner started with a three tiered tray of amuse bouches. We enjoyed them while reviewing the menu and the very extensive wine list. A tasting menu or a three course prix-fixe is offered. The prix fixe is $96 with supplements, $15, for example, if you pick dishes such as foie gras.For starters, we had a classic seared fois gras with poached fruit, one of the best my dinner companion had ever had. I had a chicken consomme which was delicate and light but punctuated with the contrasting rich pieces of fois gras and the texture of bits of pasta. Mains were the duo of beef which consisted of some very tasty braised short ribs with a rib steak. It also came with an incredibly flavourful potato accompaniment. I had rack of lamb, one rib done with African spices, the other with a paprika crust. They were both very good as was the eggplant and peppers which accompanied it. We had what we thought was a very reasonably priced bottle of aged Bordeaux from a very good year with our meal. Although we were getting full, we had to order dessert. I found Daniel’s dessert menu was set up like my ideal, one side listed all chocolate desserts, the other side listed everything else. S had the hot chocolate souffle and I had the chocolate praline which looked so beautiful with a thin ribbon of chocolate curved over the top and a piece of gold foil, I almost did not eat it. But I am not that foolish. It was as delicious as it was beautiful. This was followed by a plate loaded with petit fours which I had no room left to sample.Service was very attentive and friendly with a bit of theatre; when you receive your plate, the sauces are added at the table as the server explains your dish. The sommelier, a female, which has been rare in my experience, was very knowledgeable. Daniel seems to define the notion of gracious dining. Our dinner made for a fabulous start to our vacation and the stresses of our delayed flight were soothed away by the end of our wonderful meal.
©Travelocity.com LP 2000-2009