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[Comments] (4) Daniel: Sumana took me to dinner at Daniel, one of New York's fanciest restaurants. I took some pictures but I didn't start until the end of the meal for reasons that will become (or are already) apparent.

The meal started with a little tray of treats. My favorite was a tiny Parmesan basket with some kind of mousse inside it, which gave the impression of eating a cheese-flavored Frito dipped in sour cream.

I started with sweet pea-ricotta tortelloni, with "savory emulsion" (aka FOAM). It was truly excellent. At intervals a guy came around with a basket of assorted breads, urging us to sample his wares. There was a terrific three-seed bread and little mini-baguettes.

Then there was duck breast, which was good on its own but came with some very strange things, including a hollow gelatinous cube that I'm not entirely sure was food, and what I think might have been foie gras taquitos. I ate it all; my general rule at a restaurant this expensive is that I might as well try everything that shows up because I've already paid for it. The taquitos were good, and as moral crises go the crisis of whether I may have eaten some foie gras taquitos is pretty small potatoes.

Sumana had a cauliflower soup and then the tortelloni as an entree. Then the restaurant really outdid its collective self. We ordered dessert: I the brownie and Sumana the chocolate biscuit (except they actually gave her the mousse). This came, and then came this crazy mango-three-ways thing with a birthday candle and a greeting to me piped on the plate in chocolate!

Maybe you get something nice like this every birthday, but the last free restaurant birthday dessert I remember was chocolate mousse served in a fake flowerpot with crumbled-up Oreo cookies to look like dirt. Unlike that, this was great and it was a total surprise; Sumana had told the restaurant staff beforehand that this was a birthday dinner.

But they weren't done showering us with dessert. Oh no. A waiter brought us a big basket of hot madelines. We ate some. They were delicious. I said, "This reminds me of the time I had a madeline at Evan's house." Then they brought us a platter of eight bite-sized treats, including the world's tiniest lemon meringue pie, a weird meringue Like Like with jam inside, a marshmallow covered in toasted coconut, etc. etc.

Sumana said "If they come around with a wafer-thin mint, I'm through." Fortunately no mints were forthcoming; they left us alone with our plates and plates of dessert until we'd finished most of it. Then, the check. Suffice to say that it cost a lot of money. I don't think I'd eat there again given the price, but I said the same about WD-50 and I wouldn't mind going there again now.


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