Chef Daniel Boulud celebrated the 30th anniversary of his eponymous, two Michelin-starred restaurant, DANIEL, late last month. This milestone marks three decades of innovative fine dining and inspired French cuisine paired with a quintessential New York City luxury experience, raising the restaurant’s profile as one of the city’s most respected and favored culinary destinations.
“My heart is full when I think back over the past 30 years of Restaurant DANIEL,” said Chef Daniel Boulud. “It is my first restaurant, my namesake, and the foundation of my restaurant group. It is very personal to me, because this restaurant is all about the personal relationships with the many talented team members we have had over the years and have today; with our suppliers who provide the finest ingredients; the partners who have always been by my side, and above all, our guests for their loyalty, generosity and support over the years. These relationships mean everything to me, and to Restaurant DANIEL.” Boulud continued, “Restaurant DANIEL is a family, but of course I cannot forget to thank my own family, whose encouragement and support has made my personal life and work all possible.”
DANIEL opened on 76th Street on New York City’s Upper East Side in 1993 as Chef Boulud’s first independent project. After moving from France to New York City in 1982 and working in many of the city’s most prestigious French restaurants over the course of nine years, opening one of his own was the realization of a lifelong goal. Raised on his family’s farm outside of Lyon, France, the dinner table at home was a daily ritual filled with the freshest home grown and organic products in a rustic and delicious way. Chef Boulud has always shown an appreciation for seasonality with menus driven by a creative approach to exceptional ingredients and soulful and classic balance. Upon his arrival to New York City, as a young, passionate chef, he was eager to take part in the French dining renaissance the city was experiencing.
In 1998, five years after its opening on 76th Street, DANIEL relocated to a new home on 65th Street, where it remains today. This location is especially meaningful to Chef Boulud as it was the former home of Le Cirque while he worked there as Executive Chef.
In its first year, Restaurant DANIEL received immediate recognition, including a four-star rating from The New York Times and was cited as “one of the ten best restaurants in the world” by the International Herald Tribune, quickly rising through the ranks to earn its place alongside other legendary fine dining establishments. Less than a year later, Chef Boulud was recognized with the James Beard Foundation’s “Outstanding Chef” Award, celebrating his work at the restaurant. This was the first of many for the restaurant and its staff which was also honored with the James Beard Award for “Outstanding Service” in 2009 and “Outstanding Restaurant” in 2010. Since 2005, Restaurant DANIEL has maintained its Michelin-starred status and currently has two Michelin Stars. Chef Boulud was also honored with The World’s 50 Best Restaurants’ “Lifetime Achievement Award” (2015), “The World’s Best Restaurateur” by Les Grands Tables du Monde (2021), and La Liste’s “Innovation Award” (2023), among many other awards over the years. Today, DANIEL has attained global icon status, is consistently recognized with new awards, and maintains its role as the most coveted table in New York.
After thirty years, DANIEL continues to set the standard for New York City fine dining, relentlessly reinventing itself along the way. The restaurant’s four- and seven-course menus, led by Executive Chef Eddy Leroux and Executive Pastry Chef Shaun Velez, rotate seasonally, featuring the finest ingredients and exploring new ways to prepare classic French recipes with creative techniques, tastes and presentation.
For the past 25 years, DANIEL has hosted the annual Gala for Citymeals on Wheels, a charity that provides New York City’s homebound elderly with nutritious meals, of which Chef Boulud is co-president. In total, these annual events have raised over $20 million towards the organization’s mission to feed New Yorkers in need.
With each decade, DANIEL has continued to evolve, while maintaining its cuisine and elegant atmosphere. Just last year, the restaurant debuted the final phase of its latest renovation, unveiling a new bar and lounge area in partnership with the Paris-based Lalique Interior Design Studio. Throughout the years, Chef Boulud has published ten cookbooks, and has constantly renewed Restaurant DANIEL with exceptional art, inspired interior design, creative cocktails and its notable wine list.
While Chef Boulud’s restaurant group, the Dinex Group, has grown to over 20 venues worldwide, including two new openings in 2023 to date, DANIEL represents his continually evolving journey as a Chef, entrepreneur, and mentor.
“Daniel has not only built one of the world’s premier restaurant groups, he has done it with endless passion and ingenuity. I am continually impressed by his dedication and commitment to excellence. As we look to the future of The Dinex Group, these qualities will continue to be the foundation of our restaurants,” said Sebastien Silvestri, CEO of The Dinex Group. “I am thrilled to be a partner of this incredible journey alongside Daniel, and our entire global team.”