Just before my nephewâ€™s New York wedding, my sister hosted a small luncheon at Restaurant Daniel. The namesake and flagship restaurant of Daniel Boulud, an invitation to lunch there is rarely turned down as it is simply one of the best restaurants in the city. Several years ago, at its original location on 76th Street and Madison, the International Herald Tribune rated it â€œone of the ten best restaurants in the world.â€ It has since moved to larger and fancier (actually, opulent is more accurate) premises at the old Mayfair Hotel building and can now seat 120 people in the main dining room in addition to private function rooms. The luncheon was held in the lounge, a private room a few steps above the spectacular bar, that had cherry paneled walls, and drapes in cream and touches of red. First order of business, the floral arrangementsâ€¦
My sister wanted to make six different floral centerpieces for the lunch so that each table was unique. To complement the colors of the room we decided to use a palate of yellows, orange, pink, red and deep red. The mutual decision was to go a little over the top, the best possible blooms in the market and all cut low and arranged in small tight arrangements without leaves. Frankly, I forgot to bring my camera and was so crazed with main wedding flowers being done at the same time that I forgot to photograph the arrangements. These great pictures are taken by another nephew who was present at the lunch. First photo above features an arrangement with red or pink amaryllis blooms and stunning beet red peonies. The entire arrangement was solid flowers and exploded from the center of the table. The decision to use large blooms in a small tight arrangement was well justified. The second arrangement is made up of orange and yellow roses and orange tulips. Finally, the third arrangement is of blood red dahlias, pink peonies, pink tinged cream roses and some frilly thing that I canâ€™t remember the name of.
And the food? I was too embarrassed to photograph it as the most efficient waiters in New York did a terrific job of serving the meal so you will have to do with a written descriptionâ€¦ A lobster salad that included tender slices of lobster on a field of miniature greens with just the right amount of dressing. A main course of superbly seasoned and rare lamb chops and a dessert made with rhubarb (in season), meringue and vanilla ice cream. Overall a superb light lunch to precede the main event: wedding and evening reception. My rating â€“ definitely five stars! Restaurant Daniel at 60 East 65th Street, New York, NY 10021.