Restaurants, as we all know, are more than just places to get fed. We use them to celebrate the milestones in our lives. Though some may disagree, I can’t think of a better place for this important type of meal than Daniel (I celebrated my first wedding anniversary there, so I’m partial). The look is right: a Versailles-opulent setting, with neoclassical architecture and towering vases with fresh flowers everywhere you look. So is the service, formal but unusually kindly; these waiters know that people are here for event eating and do their darndest to keep things festive and happy for guests. And then there’s the food, which is inventive yet classic and often revelatory. So a butter-poached abalone will come with a beurre blanc infused with sake; a trio of veal will include the cheek and the sweetbreads and be sided by carmelized artichoke. Bizarrely, with the prix fixe at “just” $116, for three courses, it ends up often being less expensive than other restaurants of lesser quality.
- Pauline Frommer