Thursday, August 5, 2010

Dinner at Daniel

As I mentioned, last week Kevin and I both celebrated our birthdays--kinda nice because it feels extra celebratory. For two days we are the same age, and I am no longer the "older woman". 

Our Saturday started with a pleasant surprise, when my very good friend (who officiated our wedding) had what I can only call a party-sized platter of macarons delivered to our door, from Bouchon Bakery.  She remembered that I really loved the macarons at a bakery in San Francisco, and after I moved to New York about 8 years ago, she has still remembered my fondness for them and went through the trouble of finding somewhere that could deliver them to me.  I mean, to us. Us. It was *our* birthdays. 

Yeah, pretty much...

fucking awesome.

For lunch, I had Sapporo Ichiban ramen bought from the bodega, with some kimchi added to it. Classy!

That night we had plans to go to Daniel.  We weren't aiming to sit in the main dining area because we didn't want to commit to a full three-course meal.  I had heard you could sit in the Lounge and eat a la carte, so that seemed like the way to go.  I found out only too late that they actually accept reservations for the Lounge as well, and we didn't have reservations.  Bastards. Anyway, there were still little tables in the cocktail bar area that they could set up for dinner, so that's what we did. Yes siree.  

In order to work up an appetite, we walked across the park to the restaurant.  We had a respite from the crippling heat wave, so it was a beautiful evening to walk.  As we passed Sheep's Meadow, I snapped a shot of the buildings on Central Park South.

After a nice walk and surreptitious change of shoes for me, we found ourselves at the entrance of Daniel Boulud's flagship mecca.

We waited a few minutes in the lobby while they set up our table, and I took the opportunity to show my rube self and take some pictures.

The ceiling in the lobby area

Ze bar

Painting in the lobby area that Kevin really liked. I think they kinda look like bugs.

Waiting for drinks.  Daniel had a facelift about two years ago and I guess this dotted interlocking circle design is their new motif.

After we were seated, I had me a COCKTAIL!  Their cocktail menu is mouthwatering.  I opted for the Pomp and Circumstance, a gin cocktail with chartreuse, grapefruit juice and soda. So refreshing.  

A snapshot of the appetizer menu

Kevin is clearly excited about our amuse bouche--trio of beet. There was a smoked salmon and beet salad, a beet mousse, and something else. The smoked salmon preparation was the best.

Kevin ordered the octopus appetizer, which had both braised octopus and octopus tempura. The tempura was amazing. I could have popped those things like Pringles.

As you can tell, my photography skills have only been improving since I started blogging. Pat on the back. And shove those scallops into my mouth! NOW! Hazelnut and chorizo-crusted scallops. Two bit, fat, plump, juicy, perfectly cooked scallops.  Sooo sweet.  Aw whaddya mean you can't tell from this photo that they were scallops? You're killing me, KILLING me.

In between courses. Hi Kevin! Happy Birthday!

For the entree, I ordered the trio of veal--loin, sweetbread and cheeks. Excellent, although...

Kevin's perfectly cooked halibut pretty much kicked my veal's ass, and I don't say that lightly because I love sweetbreads and veal.

We didn't order dessert, but they brought us the mignardises.  Light, lemony madeleines and...a bunch of other yummy stuff I can't remember.

A satisfied customer at the end of a tasty meal.  So this was the picture that I took of Kevin.  Aaaand...

...this is the one he took of me.  We know who holds their liquor better in this relationship.


  1. What a delish meal! Everything looks amazing. And, is Kevin's photography available for hire? His skills are just amazing!

  2. Happy birthday! And I can't imagine a happier way to spend a birthday than with macarons and fine foods.

  3. aw, kevin looks so perfectly coiffed. you look... em... well-hydrated.

  4. Happy Belated Birthday! I haven't been to Daniel yet, but it looks fabulous!

  5. Happy Birthdays!! I love the amuse bouche and all the little extras at Daniel! :)

  6. Looks delicious! I'm not gonna lie, I vote halibut. Yummy. :)

  7. Yummy! I'm always wanting to figure out how to carry the extra desserts home...

  8. F*@king awesome is right! Really? Really? You got a party platter of macarons? And then a nice dinner? I'm kind of hating your a little right now.