Dining at Daniel, on NYC's swanky Upper East Side, is like being a part of a theatrical play. Guests are greeted by a concierge team and led into a vast dining room, surrounded by Romanesque archways.
Tables are scattered in and around the impressive columns with the focus being the center of the room. Men and women float throughout the space, creating and curating a spectacular experience. Often times, I find fancy, French food featuring small plates pompous and detached, but our dinner last night was fantastic. The service was approachable and our server, Pascale, maintained a professional, friendly, and often times funny style. We were in good hands.
We opted for the four-course prix-fixe option; Will had the wine pairing, and I had a glass of Sancerre and Chateauneuf du Pape -- all were excellent.
We shared all of our dishes, which included Confit King Salmon, Peekytoe Crab, Grilled Lobster, and Flambeed Foie Gras, prepared table side. You know, a typical Grosvenor/Olsen dinner. For our entrees, we tasted the Wagyu Steak and Farm Squab, which were sensational -- we both preferred the squab over the steak, surprisingly. Pascale claimed our pigeon was from the Upper East Side, but I think it definitely had a better life, grazing on organic trees somewhere in the countryside. We regretted passing on the famous cheese tray, but heard rave reviews -- there is always next time...
The bread service is also plentiful with options like hand-rolled brioche, that's actually reminiscent of a flakey croissant, and a take on a salty focaccia bread. A small plate with a perfectly rounded dome of butter and gray salt rubbed with bamboo and sea salt from France adds a lovely touch. For dessert, in addition to the menu, they gift you with little bonbons to take home, Madeleines, and small sweet and savory bites as you sip your coffee, digesting and reflecting upon the two-and-a-half-hour tour de force. What a night!