Michelin-starred Chef Daniel Boulud announced the completion of the renovation and reimagination of Restaurant DANIEL, a revered New York City establishment. In addition to a thoughtfully redesigned interior, Chef Boulud has promoted Eddy Leroux, previously Chef de Cuisine at Restaurant DANIEL, to Executive Chef, and Shaun Velez, formerly Executive Pastry Chef at Café Boulud, to Executive Pastry Chef.
“Throughout the 28 years of Restaurant DANIEL, it has always been an honor to work alongside the most talented, passionate and creative executive chefs in the kitchen, as well as in pastry. Today, our newly appointed Executive Chefs, Eddy Leroux and Shaun Velez, are joining their talents to ensure that Restaurant DANIEL’s strong commitment to hospitality and culinary excellence stay creative, relevant, exciting, and delicious as it concludes its third decade in the New York City dining scene. The entire team at DANIEL and I are thrilled to start a new chapter after this very long year of challenges and pivotal changes. We are eager to present a fresh, delectable experience in our artistic setting and warm ambiance. Our New York finest hospitality is back, and so is DANIEL,” says Chef Daniel Boulud.
“We are all excited to reintroduce such a majestic and storied restaurant,” says Sebastien Silvestri, CEO of Boulud’s Dinex Group. “We have made a significant investment to elevate every inch of the interiors. The culinary team has gone to great lengths to refine the menu, ultimately creating a restaurant that is modern, relevant, inviting and unique. The all-new Restaurant DANIEL is a perfect example of how we’re meeting the moment, and pushing our teams to be creative and set new standards for ourselves and fine dining in New York City.”
In collaboration with Chef Boulud, Chef Leroux and the culinary team continue to evolve and elevate the cuisine at Restaurant DANIEL. In keeping with the trademark of Chef Boulud, the new menu is rooted in French tradition, with modern refinements and innovations that make even the most classic dishes a revelation.
Newly appointed Executive Chef Eddy Leroux has been at Restaurant DANIEL since 2004, first as Executive Sous Chef and then as Chef de Cuisine. “For more than 17 years, I have worked alongside Chef Daniel. It is a great honor to have the opportunity to be the Executive Chef of this iconic restaurant at such an exciting moment,” adds Chef Eddy Leroux. “From years of working with Chef Daniel, I know well how he constantly gives his team both the opportunity and the challenge to raise the standards of excellence.”
Previously, Chef Leroux worked his way up in the kitchens of Paris’s Michelin 3-star restaurant, Lucas Carton. There, under Chef Alain Senderens, one of the founding fathers of la nouvelle cuisine, Leroux honed his technique and opened his palate to the array of luxurious ingredients at his fingertips. During his five-year tenure with Senderens, he also took a four-month assignment in Thailand, working as Chef de Cuisine of the renowned Le Normandie in the Oriental Hotel, Bangkok.
Born and raised in the Bronx, Pastry Chef Shaun Velez graduated from the French Culinary Institute, now known as the International Culinary Center, in 2008. Following his studies, he established his career in the award-winning kitchens of Chef Boulud’s Boulud Sud as well as Restaurant DANIEL, working closely with his mentor and James Beard Award Winning Pastry Chef Ghaya Oliveira. In 2018, he was appointed the Executive Pastry Chef at Café Boulud. As Executive Pastry Chef of Restaurant DANIEL, Velez continues to hone his craft by employing innovative techniques to transform classic desserts into modern creations.
The 3,000-square-foot dining room has been reimagined by its original interior designer, Tihany Design. Design elements include a stunning polished stainless steel arched entrance, a reimagined lounge area with custom furnishings, and a spectacular new crystal-enhanced bar area designed in partnership with Lalique.
A new floor plan gives an exciting contemporary vibe to the main dining room, featuring hand-crafted undulating wood screens and custom-designed carpets, furniture, and lighting to create an elegant guest experience.
“Our new design is a fresh take on Chef Daniel’s brand of hospitality, celebrating the evolution of his culinary art. The dialogue between the Neo-Classical architecture and the 21st Century design elements give a modern and exciting feel to the restaurant,” says Alessia Genova, Managing Partner of Tihany Design.
The Paris-based Lalique Interior Design Studio worked closely with Chef Daniel and his team to create an unexpected bespoke bar experience featuring crystal glass and space in creative combinations. First-rate crystal glass making expertise, creative dynamism and technical flair enhance all interiors and spaces, with crystal at the heart of the layout and location, true to the creative approach Lalique. All pieces are made at Lalique’s Wingen-sur-Moder (France) glassworks by a dedicated studio.
At Restaurant DANIEL, Lalique Interior Design Studio, craftsmen, engineers and architects have drawn together a refined Art Deco-inspired experience complete with Lalique expressions – from huge scaled creations, including wall decorations and lightings to intimate details such as door handles. Advanced designs and innovative creations have been realized through UV bonding crystal elements onto glass surfaces, as well as integrating classic bespoke creations with metal mountings to enhance the crystal’s presence within the space. The result is an entirely bespoke project creating an immersive and experiential dining experience.
As part of the interior renovation, Chef Boulud has created a dedicated series of biannual exhibitions to be installed in the historic neoclassical dining room, the intimate Upper Lounge and the private Bellecour Room. Curated with art advisor Janis Gardner Cecil, this exciting initiative debuts with an exhibition of large-scale landscape paintings by the iconic American artist Alex Katz in collaboration with the artist and Gladstone Gallery, New York. On view in the Upper Lounge is a selection of works by Robert Mapplethorpe, courtesy of the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation and Gladstone Gallery. The exhibition of significant works of art at Restaurant DANIEL reflects Boulud’s deep appreciation for artists and their unique visions, a parallel to his devotion to fine cuisine as an art in itself.
The fine art program at Restaurant DANIEL is a fitting celebration of New York City as the epicenter of art and culture in the world today. Located in the former Mayfair Hotel on Park Avenue – the original site of Le Cirque – DANIEL is in itself a New York landmark, and within a short distance of many celebrated museums, including The Frick Collection, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Neue Galerie, along with dozens of the city’s renowned galleries.