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Manhattan

Danube - A disappointment

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Danube - A disappointment

rrems | Jan 27, 2008 08:51 AM

We had dinner at Danube because a friend who we were dining with really wanted to try it. I have read the many posts on this board, and read the menu on the website, and I was somewhat skeptical but hoping for the best. Our friend ordered the "tasting" menu, which turned out to be not a true tasting menu, but a 4 course prix fixe. The amuse bouche and palate cleanser are included if you order a la carte anyway. Ordering 4 courses a la carte would have cost the same amount as the prix fixe, and would not limit the choices. We ordered 3 courses a la carte, and though the schlutzkrapfen (ravioli with quark cheese) with mushrooms was excellent, the main courses of beef cheeks (a special) and beef goulash were not. The cheeks were tough and chewy, and the goulash underseasoned and ordinary. Both were one-dimentional dishes. The "hazelnut chocolate souffle" was just a miniature warm cake, not a souffle at all. Nothing special. Perhaps some of the non-Austrian dishes would have been better, but it seems to me the point of the restaurant should be to turn out really outstanding Austrian food. Wallse and even its lower-priced relative Blaue Gans are far superior Wines are overpriced. The $42 riesling turned out to be a screw cap bottle that retails for $10. The Glatzer Blaufrankisch for $55 was better, but I have had it in other restaurants for one-third less. The interesting thing is that while my partner and I were completely unimpressed, our friend loved everything. This reinforces my opinion that someone who is not used to dining in this level of restaurants and who is less adventurous will be wowed because it is fancier than what they are used to, while those of us who look for creativity and top quality will be disappointed. The decor is beautiful and comfortable, the service is as you would expect in this type of place, but that does not compensate for the food. We will not be returning.

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