I was wondering if anyone had similar experiences at Restaurant Daniel during Valentine's day this year. It was supposed to be a special prix-fixe dinner for $125 per person.
Alas, what a massive disappointment. Even in the annals of haute-cuisine, I have never seen portions so tiny. The rack of lamb must have been from an deliberately impoverished animal, the desert souffle so tiny two of them would have fit in the palm of my hand. I have eaten at Michelin 3-star restaurants in France and just about every top French place in Manhattan, and I have never been so hungry after a 4-course dinner. Even that trusty standby, bread (countless different ways), did not satiate me.
Don't get me wrong, the food was very good. But it was not even close to being worth $125 per person. 71 Clinton Fresh foods is one-third the price and twice as good all the way, from first sip to last lick.
As for the much vaunted service, the waiter poured me a white instead of the Tuscan red that I ordered. When I ordered an additionl coffee at the end, I never received it, just the check! Perhaps the only redeeming feature of the restaurant is its decor. I might have been happier munching a Chicken McNugget under those Las Vegas-esque domes.
I thought that I might have been aberration that night, while everyone else had a glorious repast. But I espied a friend of mine dining there later that night as well. And yes, he was so disappointed as well he almost wanted to walk out without paying. For the privilege of a $400+ meal, surely we should expect better - a whole lot better.
The New York Times recently gave Daniel 4 stars in its reviews. Never have 4 stars been more undeserved.
I surmise I might have been there on a poor night for Daniel - that on other nights, it's the impeccable mecca for food that it's proclaimed to be.
I certainly hope so, for the sake of the other diners who spend their hundreds of dollars at Daniel, but I for one, do not intend to ever return.
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