Haute Restaurants: Davidburke & Donatella

Alain Ducasse At The Essex House


Eschewing the ordinary, dining here is elegant but never pretentious. Opened in 2000, the Michelin-star eatery continues to wow its guests with exquisite dishes and flawless service.

Every detail is seen to right down to a cart filled with nearly a dozen bottles of water for you to try, a half-dozen selections of champagne by the glass from a trolley and the posh “doggie bag” with just-made brioche for tomorrow’s breakfast.

A seasonal menu is a tour de force of classics ranging from foie gras to shaved-at-your-table truffles. Executive chef Tony Esnault (he worked with Ducasse at the three Michelin-star Louis XV restaurant in Monaco) continues to deliver dishes made with the finest ingredients from the finest American suppliers.

We love the Spring Aquatic tasting menu. Seven-courses, two standouts include poached Maine lobster, diver sea scallops and geoduck clams served with a green apple mustard and the mosaic of selected vegetables served with a natural dressing. A front runner among the á la carte starters include duck foie gras terrine (Oh, the rhubarb and strawberry chutney that comes with it!)

Desserts are dazzling masterpieces, but we’re partial to the confection of velvety milk chocolate layers filled with a bittersweet coffee mousse served with a caramel emulsion.

158 West 58th Street, New York