Dinner at Daniel

DInner last night was amazing. Chelsea and I had dinner at Daniel, the 3 Michelin starred restaurant on 65th and Park, for those of you not familiar. It was reaaaaaaaalll fancy, probably the nicest restaurant I’ve been to. Our combined ages would have made us the youngest table there (we hesitated to say we were the youngest there, as we noticed quite a few May-December relationships… and none of the cougar sort. So disappointing. But maybe you wouldn’t woo your 25 year old boy toy with dinner at Daniel, I guess maybe front row tickets to the Knicks would work better. Or do you have to spend money on boy toys? These are things I should find out before becoming a cougar) but we never felt we got any less attention from the wait staff. You’ll notice I don’t have any photos – we felt taking photos weren’t really in keeping with the decorum of the restaurant. Haha.

We arrived a bit early (as if I’d be late for a meal, much less a meal of this calibre) and had champagne cocktails while they got our tables ready. Ugh, how did they make that Pimms and champagne taste so good? How did they get the olive tapenade baked into those teeny bits of toothpick bread sticks? Why was everything so good and we hadn’t even sat down at our table?

We were seated, and pretended to review the menu, as we’d pre-planned what we’d be getting for dinner, thanks to the inter-webs. Chelsea ordered the Main Lobster Salad with Poached Peaches to start and the Roasted Veal Tenderloin with Artichoke Barigoule for her main. I ordered the Trio of Arctic Char: Hot smoked with Yukon Gold Potato, Confit with Lemon Zest and Lovage Pistou, Tartare with Seasame Oil and Wasabi-Spinich Coulis. My main was the Duo of Beef: Braised Black Angus Short Ribs with Romanesco Puree and a Seared Wagyu Tenderloin.

Our amuse bouches were melon themed – they were delicious, but I didn’t really follow the details, except that mine were lacking all shell fish. Thankful that they had that option, though I feel I missed out.

The bread – oh the bread. I’m not really a bread-lover, but every time they came around with that bread tray, I found myself salivating for another roll. There were about four choices – Chelsea and I only alternated between two of them – garlic and parmesan, and rosemary and thyme. It makes me want to learn how to be a baker. Or marry one.

Our starters were so nice – Chelsea liked the combination of the lobster and peaches, and I thought the arctic char was a perfect start, my favorite being the smoked piece. Mmmmm. We couldn’t wait for our mains.

I loved the tenderloin – it was perfectly medium-rare, cut like butter, melted in my mouth. Wow. It couldn’t get much better. But then I took a bit of my short ribs. Tears started to well in my eyes. It was absolutely beautiful. I have never eaten any plate of food so slowly, and I’m embarrassed to say I shushed Chelsea so I could enjoy my last bite. I so rude, but I think she understood.

For dessert Chelsea ordered the Milk Chocolate Dacquoise with Salted Caramel Ice Cream. That ice cream was divine. I ordered the Warm Guanaja Chocolate Coulant – that’s fancy for chocolate lava cake. It was delicious, not too rich, and went down so well with a sip of Port. Chelsea and I didn’t lie and say it was one of our birthdays (we saw about four birthdays, some of which may have been lies), so we got no dessert with a candle in it, but the chef sent out a third dessert. Either they send every table an extra dessert, or our waiters liked us. We had a lot of fun with them, I think much less stuffy than a lot of the other guests. And just so you know, the service was impeccable, the wait staff was beyond helpful and they all had French accents. Chelsea and I debated if they were all actually French or if some of the accents were fake. I decided to believe they were all French, much more fun. Anyways, the third dessert was the Raspberry Almond Sable, with Creme Fraiche Parfait, and Yuzu Sorbet. So lovely, and it was nice to get a fruit dessert as Chelsea and I had both ordered chocolate.

So you’re thinking that must be it – but you would be wrong. Next came a tray of petit fours, which Chels and I quite fairly divy-ed each one up, and then they brought us a basket of madelines. We ate the tray of petit fours, which were divine, and then they brought a tray of mini chocolates that we each could pick one to enjoy with our cappuccinos, and then when we thought our night was sadly at an end, they sent us another tray of petit fours. That tray was considerably more enjoyable, as we knew what they were already, and didn’t have to cautiously explore, only savor.

At this point our night was truly over, we left with full bellies (might have been the three pieces of bread, but we would have been idiots to turn away those delicious rolls) and happy palates. Definitely in the list of top meals I’ve ever had – certainly the highest rated restaurant I’ve ever been. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t disappointed it’s over – nothing to look forward to anymore!

Thanks Chelsea! xx

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