With one Michelin star and several James Beard awards, Gary Danko links French cooking with modern tastes. They’re famous for their seared foie gras, but also serve dishes like roasted Maine lobster, branzini, and herb crusted lamb.
When we called for a reservation, the person on the other line said “there’s no way”. We only called a day in advance, and they were booked for the next three days– all evening. But miraculously, a reservation popped up when another group canceled, so we were very excited. We also happened to be going for a friend’s birthday dinner, so that made this opportunity extra special. 🙂
Although the space was a little cramped and the tables were rather close together, the food came quickly, and in classic Michelin style, the servers came and went without so much as a notice.
When it was time to order, our waiter recommended the foie gras, ahi tuna, branzini, roasted Maine lobster, lamb, beef, and duck breast, as well as the warm Louisiana butter cake for dessert. An essential part of eating at a Michelin restaurant, or at least I think so, is trusting your waiter. Waiters and waitresses at Michelin restaurants especially, are professionals in their trade. In addition, they are also required to try every item on the menu so they are better able to assist and describe the dish to the customers.
I really wanted to get the foie gras, but as it turned out, so did everyone ELSE. 🙂 So I shared the foie and the waiter’s recommendation, the ahi tuna, with my mom.
That’s the foie– beautiful, right? It was soft, melt in your mouth, and like a lot of French foies, it came with something fruity. In this case, that something fruity was the cranberries!
The ahi tuna was kind of disappointing, honestly. Initially, I was reluctant to get this dish, especially because you can get ahi tuna and avocado anywhere. But when the waiter recommended it, I thought “this must be good”, “trust, Anya”, and “they probably added their own restaurant flair ;)”. Unfortunately, I’m sad to say I’ve had better ahi tuna at cheaper places. The sauce was OVERWHELMINGLY citrusy, and the rest of the dish became overpowered by sauce!
The seaweed is placed on top of the tuna, and swarming underneath was that earth-shattering sauce (never again). Perhaps it’s unfair to be this critical, but for me, a bad start foreshadows a bad ending. And because Gary Danko’s is a Michelin restaurant, expectations are always higher. When it got down to that last taste, I made sure the foie was the last bite. Now that’s a dish worth writing about.
The duck breast– what the waiter described as his “favorite dish at the restaurant”– came in as my main course, but I also got a taste of the Maine lobster, so one seafood, and one meat and game.
Above, the lobster, was prepared beautifully, with a half shell on top for appearances. It’s nice when places detach the lobster meat from the shell for you, but ESPECIALLY nice when they add puree and delicious extras on the side. While I probably could have had the lobster and the puree by itself (it was that buttery and heavenly), the mushrooms and corn were an excellent addition to the dish.
The duck was a much better recommendation than the ahi tuna was. The preparation, the taste, everything was excellent. They were generous with the amount of duck breast they added onto the plate, and also added bacon braised endive and duck hash to the dish. These were good, but the quality of the duck as well as the port-glazed cherry could have also made an excellent stand-alone.
Also per recommendation, I ordered the warm Louisiana butter cake. It was sticky just like it’s supposed to be, and the peaches and ice cream were a nice addition. The dish wasn’t out of this world, but it was still delicious! For your visit to Gary Danko’s, however, keep in mind that the butter cake is very filling, so if you want it, make sure to save some room. 🙂 After all, the food isn’t good if you’re not full afterwards (especially at a Michelin star restaurant).
P.S. I was a big fan of the cookie that came with the ice cream. 🙂 Is it bad that I’m mentioning the cookie and not the butter cake as a whole?
Like many Michelin restaurants, Gary Danko’s has a cheese plate option. While explaining the specifics of each cheese to you, they let you choose four of the delicious cheese on the cart to end your meal with. In the future, I plan on getting the cheese plate instead of the butter cake, in part because at the end of every meal, Gary Danko’s brings out a complimentary dessert dish anyway (and it’s so impressive to have them explain cheeses to you).
These little dessert cakes reminded me a lot of the tea cakes accompanied with afternoon tea. I’m a big fan, and I believe these little desserts were better than our butter cake (aptly named, by the way). For our special birthday guest, Gary Danko’s also brought out a delicious, DELICIOUS chocolate dessert. Cheers Gary Danko’s!
🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂
Thank you Gary Danko’s, for a wonderful meal, and cheers to all of you as well. Thanks for checking out this page! <3
P.S. The meal was good, but I'm not sure about awarding Gary Danko's a michelin star. That said, it certainly deserves lots of recognition for both its food and excellent service. Bon appetit, and keep eating! 🙂