Unbelievable. Tantalizing and Exquisite. Unforgettable!!! These are the first words that come to mind when I think back to the experience I had with my sister on Friday night at Daniel. Daniel is revered as one of the finest restaurants in NYC.
I met Daniel Boulud, the most famous French chef in the world, while I was in Beijing. While talking to him there, I told him I wanted to go to his restaurant in the fall with my sister and would email him about when I was arriving. (Little did I know that I would be invited later that week to his newly opened restaurant in Beijing, it was fabulous and free!!!)
Daniel in New York had been closed for five weeks for renovations and we got a reservation for 7pm on Friday night. It helps to have the Chef's personal email address!
As soon as we sat down and before we even knew what was happening, they brought champagne to our table. Briefly afterwards they started to bring small tasters to warm our palettes. The first tray included three tasters, octopus, a shot of cocoa bean soup and a little rice ball that had been delicately deep fried and filled with wild mushrooms and burrata cheese. Thereafter they continued to bring more and more tiny edibles and placed them on our plates.
For me, fine-dining is not all about the taste of the delicate flavors. Of course the unique foods and tastes are wonderful. However, I am so interested in why the flavors go together, how the food is prepared, where the food comes from, etc. The luxury of going to a restaurant like Daniel is that everyone on the wait staff knows everything about the food and its preparation. I had great pleasure asking tons of questions about all the food.
For example, the cheese tray had about thirty different choices on it. I asked about dozens of different cheeses, how they were prepared, why they have certain flavors, what makes them have their certain textures.
Stay tuned. There will be much more about our experience at Daniel in the coming days!!!