With all of the discontent floating around about Bar Boulud, I just wanted to report briefly on the sensational evening I had Saturday at Daniel.
It was our first time, so we went for tastings - I did the seasonal tasting menu and my boyfriend did the vegetarian. We were greeted with course after course of deliciousness. The highlights:
-the duck foie gras terrine with quince chutney: a surprisingly large serving of the richest, creamiest, most decadent thing I have ever experienced (can you tell it was my first real encounter with the stuff?)
-the creamy lentil soup from the vegetarian menu: really sublime; I love lentils, but they can be so dry, even when in a well-done soup; this was so frothy and creamy and rich, without losing the earthiness of the lentils themselves
-the savoy cabbage embeuree that came with my sea scallops: I really don't know how to describe this properly, but let's just say a kind of warm cabbage slaw wrapped in a cabbage leaf; I would never have guessed that cabbage could be so heavenly
-parsnip-rutabaga gratin that came with both tasting menus - layer after layer of moist perfectly cooked root vegetables and of course the gratin, which was creamy and rich but in no way overpowering the slight crunch and freshness of the rutabaga and parsnips
-the red wine braised short ribs that came with my duo of dry aged beef - chewy, sweet, perfectly braised, exact right amount of fat, soft and tender, melt-in-your-mouth
All in all a really wonderful evening. The service was perfectly attentive but not cloying. The atmosphere really lovely. My only disappointment was the choice of desserts - a chocolate praline cremeux and a caramelized banana. I really dislike bananas, so I went for the former, which while very handsome, was unmemorable. My boyfriend seemed pretty pleased with the banana though. Luckily, I had the complementary petits-fours plate to amuse me and then the delicious bag of warm madeleines that came with our coffee to dip into the melting caraibe ice cream that came with my dessert.
a longer and even more effusive description: