Daniel Boulud’s flagship restaurant on Manhattan’s Upper East Side hasn’t been having that great of a year: It was bumped from number 29 to 40 on S. Pellegrino’s 50 Best Restaurants List, Times critic Pete Wells lowered its rating from four stars to three, and, most recently, Michelin demoted it from three stars to two. But Boulud appears to be taking it all in stride, or at least he appeared to be when we caught up with him at Taste America: New York at Daniel last week.
“I never had any doubt that the work we do isn’t equal to many three-star restaurants in Europe,” he humbly admitted. “I’ll take the punch, but I’ll be back in the ring — I’m already back! And we’ll continue to progress and refine.”
As he casually removed his wristwatch and began to wind it, he shifted his focus to his loyal clientele. “It’s not game over and the customers know that,” he said with a smile. “They’re happy in the good times and supportive in the challenging times. We’re not just shooting for Michelin stars, we’re shooting for the customers. I stand by the food, the service, and the overall experience. Daniel is Daniel, and we’ll continue to marvel.”