Although we have bestowed our highest rankings on Per Se and Masa, Daniel is in many ways our favorite restaurant in New York. Lyon-born chef Daniel Boulud, who oversees the neoclassical shrine to French cuisine, seems to have flawless judgment when it comes to what makes a restaurant or a dish work. His Midas touch is evident in the fact that five of his restaurants appear on this list. In our view, no other restaurant in Manhattan besides perhaps Le Bernardin can convey the same sense of luxuriousness and class.
Though we preferred the more traditional décor of the past (described by Frank Bruni as calling to mind “the lining of a prim octogenarian’s underwear drawer”), the recent renovation (again, by Adam Tihany) was so flawlessly executed that we cant help but admire it. The restaurant is now sleek, modern and modish. The food is nothing short of astonishing — virtually every dish is revelatory, inventive and deeply gratifying. Boulud’s genius is most evident in his ability to employ robust flavors and unusual pairings in such equilibrium. Rarely does one see (or, more accurately, not see) an apparently telepathic wait staff of such facility and self-possession. The wine list is one of the deepest and most impressive in the city (1918 Château d’Yquem? Sure) and the adjacent posh bar is one of the best places for a cocktail in the city (try the Hotel Nacional Special, invented in 1933 in Havana). And the restaurant manages to pull off one of the trickiest combinations in high-end restaurants, combining consummate elegance with unpretentious charm. Daniel is one of Manhattan’s true culinary treasures, a thriving old world classic of the highest caliber and, for our money, perhaps the finest overall dining experience available in Manhattan.
60 E. 65th St.
New York (nr. Madison Ave.)
212-288-0033 Mon-Sat, 5:30pm-11pm;
RECOMMENDED DISHES See All
- Cocktail: Hotel Nacional Special (1933) - Bacardi 8 Years Old, Apricot Liquor, Lime, Pineapple Juice
- Butternut squash soup
- Chilled Peekytoe Crab "Cannelloni" - Early Summer Melon, Lime Coulis, Pickled Ginger, Mint
- Cauliflower soup and prawns
- Arctic Char Trio
- Wasabi Cured Fluke - Shiso Bavarois, Beets, Edamame Coulis, Seaweed Tuile
- Paupiette of sea bass
- Black sea bass with Syrah sauce - Glazed Cipollini Onions, Yukon Gold Potatoes Chive Bud Tempura, Timut Pepper
- Maine Sea Scallops Layered with Black Truffle in Golden Puff Pastry
- Asparagus, Lobster and Artichoke Salad with Fresh Hearts of Palm and Meyer Lemon Dressing
- Duo of Beef - Black Angus Short Ribs with Beet Marmalade and Seared Wagyu Tenderloin, Braised Savoy Cabbage, Crispy Chickpea Panisse, Bordelaise Jus
- Rib Eye
- Warm Guanaja Chocolate Coulant - Liquid Caramel, Fleur de Sel, Milk Sorbet