Daniel, New York

Increasingly more restaurants are prohibiting diners from taking photos at their premises, and Daniel is one of them. This may please some diners, and I am happy to abide by the no-photo policy. However it wasn’t this rule that bothered me, rather, it was the unfriendly concierge.

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I printed the wrong address and was half hour late. Once I stepped into the restaurant, I was ‘greeted’ with “You are 30 minutes late”. I was stunned by this lecturing tone. Before I could even respond to that, the staff continued saying “You are not advised to do the tasting menu as you are late, so please stick with the dinner menu”. Little was I expecting to get such an unpleasant greeting from a three-star restaurant.

To be fair, other waiting staff had been nice and helpful throughout the meal. The restaurant was dimly lit, but the sound levels could be a concern if you are looking for a quiet and very formal place to dine. For such occasions, Per Se would a more suitable.

Chef Daniel is playful with flavours and textures. Their food are delicious, but the complexity of the flavours and texture can be an issue. My first course was a certain Butter Poached Jade Tiger Abalone with Sea Buckthorn, followed by Slow Baked European Wild Turbot with Hawaiian Hearts of Palm, King Crab Legs, Wild Black Rice, Saute Americaine and Roasted Pineapple, Exotic Cream, Coconut Pearl, Pina Colada Sorbet. Both the abalone and turbot were well cooked, tender and juicy, yet I don’t like the idea of adding some sourness with the sea buckthron to the abalone. It felt a little too much. Yet, I was most impressed with the dessest – Roasted pineapple, where Chef Daniel made a Pina Colada into an edible dessert.

They carry a good list of wines, Burgundy biased, comprising of both old and new selections, roughly double to triple of the market prices.

Overall, I was just bothered by the rudeness of the concierge. Possibly there’s a second booking after me, and a 6-course tasting menu would throw the scheduling off. I am both upset on the fact that there’s a time frame allocated for each diner and their attitude in handling the matter. This aside, it’s still a decent restaurant.

Address: 60 East, 65th Street, New York
Tel: +1 212 288-0033

Visited on: 22 March, 2012
Price: Dinner Menu: US$116; Tasting Menu: US$220
Things to order: Roasted Pineapple
Hours: Monday to Saturday: 5:30-11:30; Sunday & Lunch Closed

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