New York City’s dining scene is one of the most competitive in the world. Fancy restaurant after fancy restaurant line the streets of Manhattan’s most exclusive neighborhoods, competing to shine the brightest in a food scene full of stars. Many of these restaurants offer multiple-course meals that cost $200 or more per person, one of which is Daniel, tucked into the Upper East Side. But what does the innocence of a child have to show us about five-star dining?
The New York Times Magazine published a video in their food issue where they take six normal second graders from Brooklyn’s PS 295 to a meal at Daniel, one of the fanciest restaurants in New York City.
Daniel Boulond, the head chef and owner, has solidified an outstanding reputation in the cut-throat New York City food scene as one of the imaginative chefs in the area’s industry. The fancy restaurant’s website notes the praise that Boulond has received across the board from critics and other U.S. fine dining authorities.
“In New York [Boulond] has truly mastered the dining scene and is today considered one of America’s leading culinary authorities. Raised on his family’s farm in the village of St Pierre de Chandieu, the chef remains inspired by the rhythm of the seasons and menus driven by fine ingredients. Since arriving in the US in 1982, Boulud has become renowned for the contemporary appeal he adds to soulful cooking rooted in French tradition.”
Boulond remarked before the experiment that, as a child, he had never eaten anything like what they serve at his restaurant Daniel.
“I never had a chance to go to a fancy restaurant when I was a child. I grew up on a farm, and I had a lot of things we were raising ourselves, so there was a certain connection to everything.”
In a review that NYT food critic Pete Wells published last July, he gave the restaurant an excellent three out of four stars. From his review, it appeared that he deducted a point from the elite dining institution because of inferior service that a friend of his received; Wells thought he may have received better service because he has facial recognition within the fine dining world. However, even having sampled a sizable amount of New York City’s fancy restaurants, Pete gave unrestrained praise to the dishes he was served as Daniel.
“Again and again, I have been startled by the excellence of Mr. Bruel’s ingredients and his talent for unlocking all they had to offer. I have never tasted more calmly flavorful veal tenderloin, or fresher and more gently handled swordfish, or a more skillfully roasted breast of guinea hen.”
Sounds quite different from what the kids had to say about one of New York City’s fanciest restaurants.
[Image via NYT]