Restaurant Daniel on the Upper East Side

 Daniel in NYC, NY

Daniel in NYC, NY

Opened in 1993 and relocated in its current location that was once Le Cirque in 1999, Daniel is the quintessence of what fine dining means: an incredible experience from beginning to end where hospitality has a real meaning. Some might be intimidated by the place and the omnipresent service, but the fact that it is not stuffy and very welcoming gives a different vibe to this culinary institution. There, Executive Chef Jean-François Bruel, Chef de Cuisine Eddy LeRoux and Executive Pastry Chef Ghaya Oliveira crafted sublime menu where you will not find classic dishes: no, it is more French inspired than typical French dishes, where ingredients like foie gras, Lapin (rabbit) or pigeonnau (squab) can be found. And if you are vegetarian, this is not a problem: they have a vegetarian menu.

 Chef de Cuisine Eddy Le Roux at Daniel in NYC, NY

Chef de Cuisine Eddy Le Roux at Daniel in NYC, NY

Here is what we had:

A glass of champagne: compliment of the Chef, I could not remember what kind it was...

 Glass of Champagne at Daniel in NYC, NY

Glass of Champagne at Daniel in NYC, NY

Amuse bouche: black onion-parmesan sablé with olive tapenade, tomato confit and Mornay emulsion. 

 Amuse bouche at Daniel in NYC, NY

Amuse bouche at Daniel in NYC, NY

Then we got a tasting of cucumber: we both had the same, except that mine had seafood in it.

 Tasting of cucumber at Daniel in NYC, NY

Tasting of cucumber at Daniel in NYC, NY

For me: smoked salmon with cucumber noodles, Nettle oil and dill yogurt.

 Smoked salmon and cucumber noodles at Daniel in NYC, NY

Smoked salmon and cucumber noodles at Daniel in NYC, NY

For Jodi, also cucumber noodles, with Nettle oil.

 Cucumber noodles at Daniel in NYC, NY

Cucumber noodles at Daniel in NYC, NY

In the middle was a cucumber soup that we both got, made with Meyer lemon, pickled cucumber and chive oil.

 Cucumber soup at Daniel in NYC, NY

Cucumber soup at Daniel in NYC, NY

For me, marinated langoustine, cucumber roll and chili pepper oil at Daniel in NYC, NY

 Marinated langoustine in a cucumber roll at Daniel in NYC, NY

Marinated langoustine in a cucumber roll at Daniel in NYC, NY

For Jodi, an equivalent, but I admit that I forgot with all these yummy descriptions!

 Cucumber roll at Daniel in NYC, NY

Cucumber roll at Daniel in NYC, NY

Then they brought some salted butter from Brittany and a bread basket that was superb: I mean I could have eaten the entire thing, to the point that at some point, I declined having more bread considering the food we were getting. What I did not know is that they make their own bread in their own commissary, that serves all their restaurants, 

 Bread basket at Daniel in NYC, NY

Bread basket at Daniel in NYC, NY

 Salted butter at Daniel in NYC, NY

Salted butter at Daniel in NYC, NY

 Mini baguette at Daniel in NYC, NY

Mini baguette at Daniel in NYC, NY

 Brioche at Daniel in NYC, NY

Brioche at Daniel in NYC, NY

 Buckwheat and sourdough bread at Daniel in NYC, NY

Buckwheat and sourdough bread at Daniel in NYC, NY

Then came the first course, compliments of the Chef:

For Jodi, Carotte, a chilled carrot velouté with a chermoula cream, lovage oil and confit ginger. I should mention that Jodi does not like carrots: well, you could not tell as she loved it!

 Carrot velouté at Daniel in NYC, NY

Carrot velouté at Daniel in NYC, NY

I got the Lapin, a rabbit "porchetta" with chorizo, yellow wax bean and haricot vert salad, a quite comforting dish.

 Rabbit "porchetta" at Daniel in NYC, NY

Rabbit "porchetta" at Daniel in NYC, NY

Then I got the Saint-Jacques or ceviche of Maine sea scallops, served with an avocado mousseline, white sturgeon caviar, finger lime wasabi vinaigrette and cilantro. This was exquisite: the scallops literally melted in my mouth and I loved the addition of the avocado mousseline that gave a nice smoothness and fattiness to the dish.

 Scallop ceviche at Daniel in NYC, NY

Scallop ceviche at Daniel in NYC, NY

Jodi got the Fenouil, or roasted fennel with sorrel coulis and wild asparagus:

 Roasted fennel at Daniel in NYC, NY

Roasted fennel at Daniel in NYC, NY

Third course: Broccoli for Jodi, that was grilled broccolinis, old Chatham yogurt, Thai basil chutney and Purslane (a leafy vegetable) salad.

 broccoli at Daniel in NYC, NY

broccoli at Daniel in NYC, NY

Gambas for me, a Santa Barbara Spot prawn "a la plancha", served with a Country Line melon, day lily, honeysuckle-togorashi infused oil. It was good, the prawn being well cooked, and the melon adding a refreshing element to the dish that had a nice kick, but I found it slightly salty.

 Gambas at Daniel in NYC, NY

Gambas at Daniel in NYC, NY

The fourth course was, for Jodi, compliment of the Chef, the Choux Fleur, a Vadouvan roasted romanesco cauliflower with a saffron dubarry cream, grape-caper brown butter and California green almonds.

 Roasted cauliflower at Daniel in NYC, NY

Roasted cauliflower at Daniel in NYC, NY

On my side, it was the foie gras that they flambéed in front of us in Mezcal and served with grits, corn in may forms (including pop corn and corn bread!) and sumac. This was fantastic: foie gras sauté is so decadent and scrumptious. I loved the sweetness the corn gave, counterbalancing the fattiness of the foie. I definitely recommend this dish.

 Foie gras at Daniel in NYC, NY

Foie gras at Daniel in NYC, NY

For the fifth course, I decided to have a glass of red wine and picked a 2010 Chateau des Fougeres Clos Montesquieu from France, a full bodied Bordeaux beautifully balanced.

 2010 Chateau des Fougeres Clos Montesquieu at Daniel in NYC, NY

2010 Chateau des Fougeres Clos Montesquieu at Daniel in NYC, NY

It was perfect to accompany the quail (caille) that I had. It was the breast of the quail that was served, roasted, served with Bing and Rainier cherries, Easter egg radish, crispy potato "Bellecour" and a Montmorency sauce. That quail was so moist, it was amazing as it can be tricky to cook (overcooked, it is dry).

 Quail at Daniel in NYC, NY

Quail at Daniel in NYC, NY

Jodi got the Trompette Royale or roasted king trumpet mushrooms, porcini coulis, red pearl onions, turnip and lava beans leaves. 

 Trompette royale at Daniel in NYC, NY

Trompette royale at Daniel in NYC, NY

Last was dessert. I should say "were" desserts. We got:

Bolivie, a dark chocolate moelleux, served with infused balsamic vinegar, chocolate gavottes for a bit of crunch and spiced herb ice cream.

 Chocolate moelleux at Daniel in NYC, NY

Chocolate moelleux at Daniel in NYC, NY

Abricot or a cake made with vanilla roasted apricots, ginger Chantilly, chia seed Arlette, creamy chai and oatmeal ice cream.

 Apricot cake at Daniel in NYC, NY

Apricot cake at Daniel in NYC, NY

Fraise or strawberry tart with Elderberry flower gelée, berry vinaigrette and a fennel-yuzu confit sorbet. This was my favorite with the moelleux: not only it was beautiful with the sugar tuile on top, it was very refreshing and had nice flowery notes. I just wished it was bigger, because I could have eaten more!

 Strawberry tart at Daniel in NYC, NY

Strawberry tart at Daniel in NYC, NY

This came with some petits fours and madeleines that I could not resist eating, although at that point I was so full...

 Petits fours at Daniel in NYC, NY

Petits fours at Daniel in NYC, NY

 Madeleines at Daniel in NYC, NY

Madeleines at Daniel in NYC, NY

After the meal, they gave us two cannelés, a French pastry that they offer at Epicerie Boulud, as well as the menu as a souvenir. It was great and we were glad we walked a bit after that...

 Daniel in NYC, NY

Daniel in NYC, NY

Enjoy (I did)!

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Daniel - 60 East 65th Street., Upper East Side, NY 10065

 
Daniel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato