Monday, February 2, 2009

Daniel Awarded Four Stars

Back in September my sister and I dined at a restaurant in NYC called Daniel. This was truly an 'experience' more than a dinner. Daniel was just awarded four stars from the New York Times! Four stars is the highest you can get in the culinary world.

I met Daniel Boulud in Beijing on the set of the Today show. I immediately knew who he was and got super excited at the chance to meet him. This man is literally a legend. We talked for a few minutes before he went on the set. I got his business card so that I could contact him when I went to NYC. His daughter was there and I began to talk with her after he went on the show. She goes to Tufts University and was in Beijing enjoying the Olympics with her dad. Long story short, later that week she took me to Daniel's new restaurant in Beijing, "Masion Boulud." It was amazing and completely complimentary!

When I was on my way to NYC in September I wrote Daniel to let him know I was going to dine at Daniel with my sister. His assistant got me and my sister a reservation for Friday night at 7pm. This was a big deal because it was the first Friday the restaurant was open since they finished renovating it for over five weeks.
My sister and I arrived and were taken to our table. The restaurant is absolutely beautiful inside. The service is impeccable. For instance, each plate is lifted off the table at the exactly same time, each utensil is placed in front of each person at the same time, everyone who works there knows everything about the food and wine. When my sister needed a kleenex they brought her a silver box of Kleenex on a silver platter...ridiculous. They have about one employee for every guest. Long story short, we were there for over five hours. Daniel came out to talk to me and my sister twice during our meal, both times for about ten minutes. He is a super genuine and soft spoken man who really knows how to put a smile on your face both with his food and his humor. At the end of the night he took us in the kitchen and showed us around. We also took pictures with him and his chefs. As we left he handed me two of his cookbooks that he wrote personal notes in.
Recently a wonderful review was written in the New York Times about Daniel. I wrote Daniel an email to congratulate him and let him know what I have been up to. Even though he was out of the country, he still got back to me the next day...I was so excited. In his note he encouraged me to continue following my love for food and cooking. His daughter told me how he really loves to nurture young talent in the kitchen as well as people who are super into food and cooking. This really shows a lot about his character. I am definitely going to go back and see him next time I go to NYC!The cheese course we had was a compilation of eight cheeses we chose from around the world.Above is only 2/3 of one of the two dessert courses we had. The other dessert course was based around different fruit flavors.Above is a tray being prepared of different flavored sorbets.After the dessert courses each guest also gets a tray of mini desserts...literally over the top. My sister devoured all of hers, I didn't even finish mine:(

7 comments:

Taylor said...

Daniel Boulud and Thomas Keller are my two most favorite Chefs!! Chef Boulud's food is incredible, clean and not to mention beautiful. My old roommate was one of his sous chef.
I'm so glad you were able to try fine dining at its finest!!! ;)

Mary said...

Woah. Needless to say, I'm a little jealous... That place looks amazing. I can only imagine the food.

Sjtientje said...

Put it on my 'wish list'. I could allmost taste the ambiance and the food through your blog....

Have a nice day.

gr. Christina

P.S.: If you ever plan on visiting the Netherlands you should eat at 'Da Vinci' in Maasbracht.

Jane said...

Wow that food looks so good, and the presentation looks slick. I'm big opn presentation. One of the pictures picture reminds me of the baklarva(not sure of spelling) that I had last night, I polished off so many I lost count but inspired to make my own.

Don't suppose you know any recipes for that? you could always ask Daniel for me?!

Cheers, Jane :)

J said...

This blog keeps getting more interesting. The restaurant looks like ethereal experience, like you walked into a dining mecca. Wow, I imagine having your personal dessert tray is very dedicant! Its great to see such humbling person, keep on rocking your talents! This blog is certainly a welcome treat to read or broad horizons from food to swimming! Rock on!

Donna Binkholder said...

Daniel Boulud and Thomas Keller oh man I love to meet them!!!! I am very jealous and hungry because the photos of the food looks soooo mouth watering!! This place looks amazing!!! Thanks for this blog!!Oh ya do you have any recpies I can try out? I am looking for good ones...

Garrett said...

Who was your old roommate who worked for Daniel?

Literally amazing!

Walking into Daniel is really like walking into a dining mecca. They have anything and everything you could ever ask for...

I really want to try the French Laundry or Per Se next...who knows???


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