Dinner at Daniel was intended to be the cherry on top for our vacation in nyc. Being rated as the #1 fine dining spot in town and having been to many such establishments in the city, I had high expectations.
The problems started with seating. We were in the lounge area, right next to where the wait staff prepare food, silverware and drinks to go out to the guests. It is very loud and uncomfortable there. This should not be done next to guest seating at a $400+ per head establishment.
The first three courses were very underwhelming. Very small portions, which would be fine if the food was great. I realize this is very subjective but frankly there was not much flavor and what we ate was simply bland, two being salad/radish based and another with very small slices of fish without any pop of flavor. The wait staff brought out these courses immediately after the previous. We felt rushed and the experience of enjoying the meal and conversation was not easily possible.
After the third course, a waiter said "are you ready for desert now?" Already dissatisfied with the meal thus far I said no, I believe there are a few more courses. The gentleman persisted with the bad joke. He thought it was funny, perhaps it usually works but I'm sitting here thinking we are $400 into our meal for 2 and nothing is good so far! It's a bit funny in hindsight.
The strangest thing which happened was that I ordered a cocktail stirred and without ice in a rocks glass. The waiter kindly confirmed, and then brings out a small copper pot with ice in it, with my cocktail glass inside. He placed it on the table as a solution to keeping the drink cold. At this I was a bit shocked and thought it might be a joke, I do not want a copper pot on my dinner table with my drink inside. I thanked him for the gesture but asked that he remove it, which he did promptly. Still unsure if it was an insult, or a mistake, or perhaps this is normal to some people and I am mistaken. Strange.
We did get moved to the main dining room after the third course, which was very nice of the staff to accommodate our request.
The rest of the tasting menu was forgettable, except for the wagyu beef which was quite good albeit mostly cold. The cheese table which was brought out before which was really fantastic, the waiter managing this was very friendly and knowledgeable. The parmesan bread was also very good. Dessert at the end was ok. I'm realizing now that we did not take a single photo of the dishes. We were joking after the meal that we spent all this money on good bread and 50g of wagyu steak.
I'm sorry to say that Daniel was a big and expensive disappointment, and I do not suggest you patronize this restaurant.
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