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#1 Tuckerman

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Posted 11 May 2004 - 12:18 PM

I was surprised by the sheer grandness of Daniel-like an old fashioned luxury hotel dinner and dance dining room-lots of red plush, massive floral displays, huge paintings and mirrors and an army of besuited serving staff gliding and swirling wherever you look. I half expected the Edmundo Ross orchestra to pipe up any minute and invite us to take a twirl on the (non-existent ) dance floor.

The menu is $88 for three courses but with lots of supplements, which irked me. I mean if you're going to have a fixed price why unfix it with every other dish? Why not just price dishes individually? Ultimately it becomes like a ploy to ensure you order three courses.

Starters had excellent primary ingredients Fahro continued her love affair with scallops which came with a porcini, kale and black truffle based sauce. Lovely scallops but not much hint of truffle. My single Langoustine ($15 supplement if you please) was sweet and rich, but the advertized Ginger and Almond Crust was again so tentative with the ginger as to render it virtually undetectable. However surrounding the Langoustine was a Pea Soup (Scottish Langoustine, English Peas. I should have worn my Union Jack tee-shirt) which was none other than a play on peas, with sweet peas, a pea foam, little whole and split peas. If you like peas this was a fun dish.

Then came my dish of the trip so far Braised Beef Short Ribs in Red Wine with Sauteed Porcini Scallion Mashed Potatoes and Early Spring Green Fricasee. Wow! The meat had been cooked gently for hours and had become infused with all the flavours of wine and porcini to a dark caramelised glaze. It had held together but with just the right degree of resistance when you cut it-like butter at the perfect temperature. It was deeply satisfying and beautiful tasting dish

Fahro's quartet of Baby Lamb with the usual olive and aubergeine and tomato concasse thing had lovely meat, but I'm not the greatest fan of this Provencal tratment of Lamb (wot no Mint Sauce?) but it was a good example of the genre.

Then another great dish-Hot Chocolate Upside Down Souflle with Cafe Brulot (?) Ice Cream. I know the hot chocoate cup cake with molten choc inside is commonplace now,but it was no less perfectly executed and scrummy for that. The molten chocolate was HOT, as it should be. Warm Griotte (?) Cherries Ceylon-Cinnamon Ile Flottante and a Pistachio Emulsion was fine. but again very tentative, this time with the Pistachio.

Despite one or two gripes there was a lot that was superb about this meal, enough to ensure that we left happy and satisfied, floating down Lexington-pleased to be in NYC

#2 Wilfrid1

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Posted 11 May 2004 - 02:04 PM

No mint sauce? No gravy? :lol:

Glad you enjoyed Daniel, which I regard as the least reliable of the city's top tier of restaurants. Did you find the service okay?
Elect-a-lujah

***Every Monday***At the Sign of the Pink Pig.

If the author could go around the place hitting random readers with a rubber hammer, the Pink Pig would still be worth a visit.

#3 Wilfrid1

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Posted 17 February 2005 - 06:36 PM

Ho hum again, and not my choice - nor is it likely to be in the future. Lovely room; nice service, this time, from a captain I haven't seen before. But I must say, if some of these dishes were served at Fleur de Sel or Tocqueville no-one would be sitting there saying, "Damn, why am I being served this is amazing four star food here at Fleur de Sel or Tocqueville?"

It isn't good enough, and if they fail to recognize the next Times reviewer who visits, he/she may do to them what Grimes did. The top tier of the tray of canapes was probably the highlight; some correct gougeres, and some nice crispy tartlets of goat cheese mixed with pine-nuts. Actually, at the other end of the meal, the madeleines and chocolates were good too. But working down the trays, one found disappointments, such as pretty but unseasoned rabbit in jelly. My appetizer was okay; a porcini veloute with a nicely executed soft black trumpet flan afloat in it. On the side they served a brochette of little pieces of tender quail. Why? No explosion of flavor from the quail to kick the soup into life. Not sure how the parts were supposed to come together.

The Niman Ranch pork trio - well, I thought the red cabbage was quite delicious. The belly was acceptable, with a brittle crunch to the skin; the cheek was tender enough, but the loin was dry, overcooked, chewy - not to a standard I would be pleased to serve at home. I mean, come on.

Could only face ice cream for dessert. Upscale catering.
Elect-a-lujah

***Every Monday***At the Sign of the Pink Pig.

If the author could go around the place hitting random readers with a rubber hammer, the Pink Pig would still be worth a visit.

#4 Miguel Gierbolini

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Posted 18 February 2005 - 03:30 PM

So they are not a 4 star, are they even good enough for a three star--food wise?
"I mispoke."

#5 Wilfrid1

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Posted 18 February 2005 - 03:56 PM

That was an entree which I would expect to find executed better at Hearth or Fleur de Sel - and for the very good reason that those kitchens are serving maybe 20% (?) of the covers Daniel tries to serve in each seating. Hearth has two stars, and I think F de S also has two. I can't claim, of course, that this snapshot is representative of the whole menu - but it's somewhat consistent with my previous experiences (again, to be fair, less than one visit a year).
Elect-a-lujah

***Every Monday***At the Sign of the Pink Pig.

If the author could go around the place hitting random readers with a rubber hammer, the Pink Pig would still be worth a visit.

#6 cabrales

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 01:05 AM

I didn't have any better ideas, so had dinner at lounge of Daniel. Prix fixe, with supps for the items I chose.

>> Sauteed FG with glazed plums, crispy gingerbread and baby mesclun

>> Four Story Hill Farm Squab Duo, Braised leg with glazed endive. Broiled breast with chois rouge a la flamande

This dish is fairly appropriate, I guess. I don't know what to say anymore, in terms of disappointment after disappointment in my gastronomic life in NY. But, leaving aside my subjective problems, this is about as good as squab dish as I have had in NY (not that that's saying much). The crooked curled legs of the squab were included, which always is appealing to me. I love a certain shape of the leg of birdies that are included in dishes, and this one had it.

>> Cheese -- local blue and a bad livarot.

It's rather depressing that I continue to struggle with my gastronomic life in NY. But so be it. The squab was rather good relative to other NY restaurants. Foie was not so -- dripping with an oil with any inappropriately sweet tinge. Way too oily and heavy. Pain d'epice were also way too "hard" in texture for the foie. Foie was not good. Squab was part of daily specials menu; don't know if it will survive.

First white truffles have arrived at Daniel. $110 for pasta with same. If I thought it were a better restaurant, I would have thought about ordering, despite the early nature of the white truffle season. :o I think part of the problem is me; this is, for some dishes, a pretty good restaurant relative to its peers. I've changed my mind on this, but that's where I am currently. :rolleyes:

#7 Miguel Gierbolini

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 02:21 AM

It's rather depressing that I continue to struggle with my gastronomic life in NY. But so be it.

I know you have talked about this before somewhere but I forgot what it was if anything. These (big time restaurants in NYC) are, in many cases, manned by French chefs or French-trained chefs cooking French food as they learned about it, or cooked it in France. Is it merely a matter of local ingredients? Or do French trained chefs working in New York cook down or differently to a New York audience? Or, is it the lack of mystique of the New York territory to a New York resident compared to dining in France?

Do you thing that Passard could replicate Arpege here?

I don't know the answer to any of this as I have not and probably will not eat in many of these restaurants in my life often enough to be able to make an honest comparison. I have been to some of them in France and in the U.S. but I don't think my palate is that developed to assess this. But you have eaten in those places and I am curious.
"I mispoke."

#8 cabrales

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 02:24 AM

I don't have a good answer to all of this. I struggle. I know it sounds like my problems are not really problems, but they are. I have a lot of problems food-wise in NY. :rolleyes:

For that reason, I am explroing wine more. It seems more controllable, more practical as a pursuit whilst I am in NY. Wine tastings are much more promising. Had a vertical (not contiguous years) of about 10+ Pichon Lalande and a replication of the 1976 Paris tasting this past week. Thank goodness Haut-Brion red won the red category.

#9 Miguel Gierbolini

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 02:40 AM

Alcohol helps me also.
"I mispoke."

#10 cabrales

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Posted 02 October 2005 - 02:49 AM

I have been to some of them in France and in the U.S. but I don't think my palate is that developed to assess this. But you have eaten in those places and I am curious.

MG -- You should have greater confidence in your own palate. Each person just needs to find out what she likes. For example, I think I have a palate that I am subjectively very happy with; that's all every diner needs. That doesn't mean there aren't major flaws in my palate (including whole cuisines), but it means I don't particularly care about my areas of deficiency. Not that I'm not expanding my horizons.

#11 Wilfrid1

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 01:47 PM

I think Restaurant Daniel's problems are specific to the restaurant, and do not require any generalisations about French chefs in New York. It is a huge restaurant; I don't know how many covers the dining room does - it probably says in the Brenner book - but I should have thought it was seventy or more, and they shoe-horn two or three sittings into dinner service. The challenge of serving haute cuisine in bulk is one the restaurant, in my experience, does not meet. I have had entrees served cold, I have had dry, over-cooked food, and I have had a few good things. I am sure the kitchen can turn out wonderful food for the selected friends of the house who dine there each evening: everyone else is simply processed through, with more or less grace.

I cannot imagine going to Daniel again unless someone is paying for me.
Elect-a-lujah

***Every Monday***At the Sign of the Pink Pig.

If the author could go around the place hitting random readers with a rubber hammer, the Pink Pig would still be worth a visit.

#12 jinmyo

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 02:49 PM

I have been to some of them in France and in the U.S. but I don't think my palate is that developed to assess this.  But you have eaten in those places and I am curious.

MG -- You should have greater confidence in your own palate. Each person just needs to find out what she likes. For example, I think I have a palate that I am subjectively very happy with; that's all every diner needs. That doesn't mean there aren't major flaws in my palate (including whole cuisines), but it means I don't particularly care about my areas of deficiency. Not that I'm not expanding my horizons.

Well put, cabrales.
"I've caught you Richardson, stuffing spit-backs in your vile maw. 'Let tomorrow's omelets go empty,' is that your fucking attitude?" -E. B. Farnum

"Behold, I teach you the ubermunch. The ubermunch is the meaning of the earth. Let your will say: the ubermunch shall be the meaning of the earth!" -Fritzy N.

"It's okay to like celery more than yogurt, but it's not okay to think that batter is yogurt."

#13 Miguel Gierbolini

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 03:52 PM

I have been to some of them in France and in the U.S. but I don't think my palate is that developed to assess this.  But you have eaten in those places and I am curious.

MG -- You should have greater confidence in your own palate. Each person just needs to find out what she likes. For example, I think I have a palate that I am subjectively very happy with; that's all every diner needs. That doesn't mean there aren't major flaws in my palate (including whole cuisines), but it means I don't particularly care about my areas of deficiency. Not that I'm not expanding my horizons.

See my sig. :rolleyes:
"I mispoke."

#14 Ron Johnson

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 04:27 PM

I cannot imagine going to Daniel again unless someone is paying for me.

ditto.

#15 Wilfrid1

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Posted 03 October 2005 - 04:27 PM

Damn, Ron, I was counting on you.
Elect-a-lujah

***Every Monday***At the Sign of the Pink Pig.

If the author could go around the place hitting random readers with a rubber hammer, the Pink Pig would still be worth a visit.