Daniel – A Valentines Day Affair

I hop into my boyfriends car in excitement to see him, only to be greeted with a kiss and silence as he concentrates on his call. 9am on the dot and he’s making reservations for Valentines Day? That’s exactly a month away! How cute though, trying to be so secretive hiding any details that would give away the restaurant and lowering the volume to really make sure I don’t hear anything. Little did I know, to my surprise that he would be taking me to Daniel. Definitely a wonderful surprise! I mean c’mon now, Daniel is quite a luxurious splurge and I for one just did not expect to be taken to such a place.

We had an early dinner reservation at 6, which I didn’t mind at all since we ended up finishing around 9. I did not expect a four course prix fixe tasting to take 3 hours! It was a wonderful three hours spent admiring the food and just truly savoring each and every bite in a pleasant atmosphere that wasn’t boisterously loud like most.

Now, for the Menu De La Saint-Valentin.

The menu was cutely presented with each portion having an emotion associated with the food. It was also separated into a his (lui) and hers (elle) theme, which you could have decided to opt out of so particular dish if you wanted to. They highly recommended sticking with the theme so I went with it. Besides, I figured it was better to at least have the option of trying both and if I don’t like it, my boyfriends always nice enough to switch with me hehe.

The first one, the amuse bouche was titled Enticing.

Wild mushroom pomponette with silky veal tongue and black truffle ; bottom

Amazing! Almost like a quiche but not as salty. I have to say out of the entire meal this was my favorite. And to think, it’s just the amuse bouche.

Lobster summer roll with spicy espelette pepper sauce ; top

Not in any way exciting. I couldn’t taste the lobster, if I even had a piece of lobster in it. All I could taste was the cucumber.

Exotic

Beet cured salmon with horseradish cream ; Left

Had a great smokey taste to the salmon and the horseradish taste was barely noticeable. Really glad for that since I am not a fan.

Nantucket bay scallop ceviche with blood orange ; Middle

Flavorful with the right amount of citrus and didn’t take away from the scallop.

Citrus marinated tai snapper with pickled ginger, tapioca pearls ; Right

It was ok. Nothing memorable about it.

Delicate

Shigoku oyster with meyer lemon custard; Golden ossetra caviar, california uni, seaweed bread tuile

This dish was actually meant for me but since I can’t really stomach oysters, I passed it on to the bf. I did try the uni (sea urchin) which was quite interesting. I thought it would have an ocean like salty taste to it, but it wasn’t bad at all.

Citrus cured yellowfin tuna with jalapeno; Hawaiian hearts of palm, golden ossetra caviar, bergamot vinaigrette

Just perfect. Had all the textures I would want from the soft tuna that just melts in your mouth to the caviar and the crispy piece under the hearts of palm. Stole this dish from my bf and it was definitely worth the steal. Don’t worry, I shared. I would never deprive him of a food-gasm nor would I not give him fair warning about something horrible as well.

Seductive

Confit Atlantic Cod With Winter Black Truffle; Tender leeks, yukon gold potato gnocchetti, parsley salad

Way too salty! I couldn’t taste the truffle and barely enjoyed how perfectly cooked the cod was because of the saltiness.

Crispy Scottish Langoustines; Celery Root Mousseline, Provence Black Truffle Gremolata

Basically like fried lobster wontons but upgraded. Fried perfectly, not oily, nice thin wrapper that left the langoustine with a good ratio. Meaning we didn’t have to search for the lobster hidden in the thick breading or wrapper.

Tender

Milk Fed Poularde “A L’estragon”; Glazed salsify, rutabaga, parsnip

The second I glanced over at the presentation of this dish, I instantly thought of an obstacle course. Imaging myself shrink down to the size of the plate as if it was some sort of adult playground with monkey bars and a little moat I had to swim through after I jumped off the cliff into it. Ok, snapping back to reality.

I had to ask what the poularde was and what I was told was that it is basically a hen that they feed milk. I actually looked more into it to see the actual process and found it a bit disturbing. The young hen is raised free range for the first part of its life and fed milk, corn and cereal. Before it has the chance to reach sexual maturity, they place the hen in a cage in the dark for a few weeks to be fattened. By doing this the young hen doesn’t reach sexual maturity and is actually more meaty.

You could definitely taste the difference in the quality of the meat as opposed to regular hen that don’t undergo this process. I didn’t find it that delectable that I would ignore my conscience to continue eating poularde after that. The dish overall tied everything perfectly together.

Roasted Waygu Beef Tenderloin; Confit beets, black trumpet, green peppercorn sauce

Who doesn’t like the tenderness of waygu beef?! Great dish!

Sweet

Sicilian Pistachio Dacquoise; Fresh raspberries, yuzu sorbet

The texture of the box was just so intriguing. It looked and felt like velvet which made it feel a bit weird biting into it, but it was just white chocolate in disguise for Valentines Day. This was my favorite dessert since it wasn’t consisting of some serious chocolate ganache overload!

Dark Chocolate Leaf; Roasted hazelnut cream, manjari ice cream

Passionate

Chocolate Heart; Passion cremeux

I’m not a huge sweets person so the desserts that came one after another were a huge overkill for me. Can someone schedule a dentist appointment pronto!? Yes, the chocolate just did not seem to stop coming. I mean, ok, fine, its Valentines Day but i’d rather live this non diabetic life I live now. Amidst the frenzy of chocolate overload, they brought us some madeleines. I almost died the second I put one in my mouth! Soft, buttery, fluffy perfection! Seriously the best I have ever had. I tried to contain my excitement for them but i’m sure my eyes must have nearly popped out my sockets and if that wasn’t obvious, my happy food dance definitely was! I tried taking a picture but I didn’t really have the patience to capture a clear shot.

My first fine dining experience. I can’t even begin to describe it because it was just amazing. A lovely dinner with my wonderful boyfriend in a great four star restaurant. I hope to come back again and try their prix fixe menu on a day that isn’t overly exaggerated causing the restaurant to be even more expensive than it already is. Just wanted to say again, thank you to my boyfriend for taking me here!

 

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Daniel 60 East 65th Street
New York, NY 10065 (212) 288-0033

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