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Can't-miss dishes: Foie gras breakfast, halibut at Daniels

One of my favorite dishes at Daniels, which I reviewed in today's Buffalo News, was the foie gras appetizer, above. When I read Chef Scott Donhauser's description, complete with Chanterelle mushroom bread "French toast," maple froth, a quail egg and drunken sour cherries, I thought it sounded complicated. Maybe too complicated.

It worked together well on the plate, though. The sour fruit of the cherries balanced the husky richness of the liver, with sweet maple and bacon crumbles to finish Donhauser's play on breakfast in the penthouse suite.

Watermelon gazpacho amuse bouche at Daniels

The watermelon gazpacho amuse that started our meal, above, was remarkable for its interplay of sweet heat and surprises like toasted cumin seeds.

Our entrees were all fine examples of what Daniels can do. But the dish that was simple, elegant satisfaction was the butter-poached halibut with baby greens almondine and beet risotto, garnished with a crispy bread-stick-like "antenna":

Halibut with beet risotto at Daniels

The shrimp with truffled salsify snuck another dose of chile heat into fine dining togs:

Grilled shrimp, salsify at Daniels

A soft-shelled crab special, done up scampi style over pasta, had us wiping the plate:

Soft shell crab scampi at Daniels

My ribeye steak with truffle cream was a handsome slab of beef, cooked right:

Ribeye steak with truffle cream at Daniels

The skin on the duck was fully rendered, turning it into a crispy savory rind on each bite:

Duck with pear puree at Daniels

The butter-poached lobster was perfectly cooked as well, even if the sauce could have been used more sparingly:

Vanilla butter poached lobster at Daniels

The "Snickers" dessert was a successful deconstructed candy treat:

'Snickers' dessert at Daniels

Dinner at Daniels remains a Southtowns treat.



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