This will be my first actual restaurant post. While in New York City we made it to several great places. The first one was Restaurant Daniel http://www.danielnyc.com/. And I must admit we were both a little bit nervous going into this place. As you walk in it seems just very swank and all of these people are so very dressed and jeweled up. When we got there we were a few minutes early and they gave us a table next to the bar and we sat and people watched a bit while waiting for our table.
Daniel Boulud himself came walking out and that was pretty cool to see as we had seen him on tv a few times and was great to know he was in the kitchen. We were seated maybe 5 minutes after our reservation time at a little table on the side over looking the main dining room and then it began….
The Amuse Bouche
This was our amuse bouche and they are basically a pre -meal tastebud starter. To be completly honest, I was too busy trying and nibbiling to write down my impressions. Like I have done with everything since then but over all they were very tasty. One thing that was new to us was the fact that they changed out all the silverware after every course and broke out a little table cloth cleaner to freshen up the table as needed was very cool and seemed almost like a ballet happening right in front of you with the dancers moving to and fro serving your plates in unison, then moving away to await your next need before gracefully coming back in. From here on out in this meal there will be 2 parts to each course as Barb and I had 2 different tasting menus.
Jonathan's 1st Course:
Pistachio Crusted Duck Foie Gras Terrine with Rhubarb Fennel Bavarois, and Lillet Gelee.
This was our first try with Foie Gras and it was very smooth and had a nice taste but not a big wow other than how pretty it looked on the plate. But it did make your taste buds wake up and say HELLO. At this restaurant I decided to try the wine pairings. This is where they pick a certain wine to go with each of your courses, you do not get a full glass of wine with each one (thank goodness) but just enough to enjoy that course. I am not a huge wine person but was very interesting to taste how the wine interacted with the flavors of the food this wine was a Gewurztraminer Rolly Gassmann 2004. Was a nice semi sweet white My favorite of the evening.
Barbs 1st Course:
Rabbit Porchetta with Spring Vegetables and Orleans Mustard Cream and Frisee Chive Oil.
Now I do want to say that some of the pictures in this set and my next are a bit blurry as I getting used to shooting in low light, close up and under no flash conditions. I hope they get better.
YUM YUMMMMM! We both loved this. I could have made a whole meal of of it! Yes yum is the height of what I can say about it but this was the one that made us go "wow ok this may well be worth the painfull shortness of a bank account we were going to have after". The rabbit was served cold which seemed odd but the texture and the flavors were just wonderful and after we got done fork fencing for the srcaps we both were hoping for a little more.
Jonathan's 2nd Course:
Trio of Sea Scallops: Ceviche with Wellfeet Oyster and Uni, Tartar with Cavier d Aquitaine, Sashimi with Yuzu.
This was my first contact with cavier and I actually enjoyed the saltyness combined with the other flavors. Also really enjoyed the sashimi which very very much surprised me as I had always thought ewwwwww raw fish but it was good. I did not care much for the ceviche though as the fish/citrus taste did not sit right with me. Barb however did not care for these at all and we have decided since then that she is just not a scallop girl at all. Now the wine with this dish was a Gruner Veltliner pfarrweingarten; buchegger Austria 2006. A bit stronger of taste and I did not like as much to just drink but combined with the flavors of the dish turned out to be pretty good ! We both were fairly enchanted with the service and the atmosphere and I think because of this we perhaps did not have as many strong memories of the food though I did make a lot of notes which has helped me with this blog. After this dinner we found ourselves better able to concentrate on the food and not just be lost in the overall experience - though I must say the experience can be summed up as sort of dinner theater of the best kind.
Barb's 2nd Course:
Peekytoe Crab with Green and Yellow Curry, Hawaiian Hearts of Palm, Pickled Mango and Cashew Pistou.
Very tasty. Imagine the crab on the right sandwiched between your favorite crackers. It was a bite of crab sandwich that was truly delicious. The one on the left was good, but not as good as the one on the right.
Jonathan's 3rd Course:
Buttered Poached Maine Lobster with Kumquats, Wilted Arugula, Radishes and Peppered Polenta Tuile.
My first big WOW of the night. I love this. Not just a little, but enough to give out a verbal Mmmmm from the first bite. The lobster was amazing and the kumquat had me digging through the dish looking for more.
The wine was Chateauyneuf-du-Pape, Chateau le Nerthe, Rhone Valley 2006. Light weight that I am, I must now report a slight buzz and starting to think the wine pairing may have been a silly idea.
Barb's 3rd Course:
Fennel Basil Ravioli with Littleneck Clam Emulsion, Shrimp, Cuttlefish, Broccoli Rabe and Chorizo.
This dish gave Barb a big smile and so far was her favorite of the night. As for me, I preferred by lobster, but this was darn good and the Ravioli melted in my mouth.
Jonathan's fourth course:
Flaked atlantic cod with morels crushed fingerlings, wilted ramps and green peppercorn Full tilt yum here the flavors just mixed in so well together to make a very tastey and pretty dish. Wine Domaine Alfred Chamisal vineyards, pinot noir, edna valley 2005"
Barb's fourth course:
Slow baked Dover Sole with louisiana Crayfish, Romaine Lettuce, chanterelles, Nantua sauce
As you can tell Barb was eager to get at this one the smell alone was just awesome, at this point we were getting darn full but both of ours were so good could not leave a bite un eaten.
This was our first tasting menu and to be at such a high end place was really a bit over whelming and about this time Daniel walked back out into the dining room and started to talk with a few people. We were both were feeling a bit out of our element but the magic of the evening can not be forgotten. Well on with the meal
Jonathan's 5th course:
Stand back from my plate this was a ooohhhh ahhhh moment from taste 1
Duo of dry aged beef : Red wine Braised short ribs with shallot confit and Seared rib eye with spinach subric, sauteed pochinis
oh yeah wine at this point well I was pretty tipsy no more wine tastings for me! Bararesco Nubiola Pelissero , Piedmont Italy 2004
Barbara's 5th course:
Elysian fields farm lamb chop and tenderloin anchovy stuffed bulb onions spring peas, and sage jus,
Yum and re yum both good dishes but we were starting to enter the near comatose stage of eating lol
Jonathan's 6th course:
Desert course and they wrote Happy birthday on our plates very cool
Tasting of mango with toasted sesame. Ginger marinated, coulis with cilantro, sorbet with kalamansi
Hmmm I know I have used this allready but just yum! The sorbet was tart and sweet and melted in your mouth. The coulis had a wonderfull texture and a nice light taste the toasted ginger seseme was a nice crisp bite of heaven.
Wine very strong sort of a port Klein constantia vin de constance constantia south africa 2002
Barbs 6th course:
Bittersweet choclate-praline cremeux amer cocoa sponge cake caraibe ice cream
DECADENT the ice cream was the richest most chocolaty thing I had ever tasted and the cake here comes the word again wow.
Ok we thought it was over ( for the first time) but they bring out a bonus desert due to it being a special evening.
They told us what it was but cant find my note's on it however the ice cream was coconut with coconut shavings it had fresh peaches on top of a coconut ish cheese cake at this point we were so full I thought we would have to be rolled home.. but then
We were sitting there thinking we just had to be done and out comes all these little candies everything from a smore like thing to a truffle all made in house. We had to sample each of them but we could not finish them just a bite of each. This just had to be it we were full and sleepy and just looking around for the bill when out of no where..
They brought these hot from the over madelines out, OMG the smell the taste even though i was just stuffed to the gills we had to nibble on one just to see what it tasted like, then two then 3. Heaven on a plate I tell you .
Ok that was the meal, I hope you all at some point get a chance to give it a try. There is a few last things I would like to add, first of all the room was completly beautiful and had a very formal and stuffy feeling so that was a bit hard to get used to. The food defintly over shadowed all of this and once we got comfortable it was truly the best meal we had ever had and it remained that for 3 days yes only three days but more on that to come. One last note I do want to add as it is often ignored the price. This meal was very VVVVery Expensive but you know we saved up for loved the experience and in hindsight with empty wallets we dont regret it at all and have some great memories. The total price including wine pairing for myself was 482.27 . I list this price because when I was researching our trip had a very hard time finding somewhere that listed the complete price including tax etc. I won't include tip in here since that is so subjective but for us the attentive staff were just as incredible as the meal!
The next meal I will try to get out will be our lunch at Le Bernardin. I want to try to get out all these from New York asap then start showing some of our local restaurants as we can go, we are hoping to hit a new one once a month as we can! I will leave tonight with a picture of Daniel himself on the night we were there and as always if you have any questions feel free too ask :)
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