Eleven Madison Park

January 16, 2013 § Leave a comment

Finally, exactly six months later, I’ve managed to post about Eleven Madison Park. This was without a doubt the longest (by the time Cindy and I finished this most expensive date ever, it was 1:30am), most extravagant, most memorable meal of Summer 2012 and going through the photos felt like I was reliving it over and over again. Apparently, a lot of the menu has changed since we visited – Daniel Humm, the chef, and the kitchen have revamped the menu twice, I believe – but I can’t imagine that the attention to detail, the warm service (unlike my initial impression of extreme fine dining restaurants, EMP’s staff was very friendly, un-pretentious, and patient, given our very late conclusion to the meal), and the exquisite food has gotten anything but better. I’m too lazy to go into detail about every dish, so just believe me when I say that every single course actually felt necessary (if that’s the right word) towards the overall progression of the meal and distinct in its own right, whether it was the concentrated flavors of the tomato tea, the nostalgia of the clambake, or the sheer unique-ness of the whey with curds and gnocchi.

Beautiful arrangement in the dining room

Beginning with savory miniature black and white cookies

A bit of New York City to start

And a lemony, gin cocktail

Tomato tea with parmesan lavash and lemon thyme

Mackerel and Scallop – horseradish and mustard; chip with pickled daikon and sesame

Yogurt lollipops with curry

 

Chickpea panisse with yogurt

Trout roe marinated with dashi, cantaloupe, zucchini and watermelon snow

The clambake – one of my favorite courses of the evening

Clam with chorizo, corn and zucchini

Pouring the most velvety clam chowder ever

 

The extra bread course – with goat and cow butters

A gorgeous plate of couscous smoked with tomato, yogurt, and olives

Foie gras marinated with nepitella and blackberry

Our wine for the evening, recommended by the sommelier

Whey with fresh curds, caraway gnocchi, and spring herbs – very different yet still delicious

Lobster poached with zucchini, avocado, and amaranth

Lamb roasted with artichokes, freekah, and lovage – another favorite and eye-opening course of the evening

Chevre meridian with strawberries, pistachio, and garlic

Our server preparing an updated classic tableside

Egg cream – orange, cocoa nib, and seltzer

Cheesecake – goat cheese, chamomile, and raspberry

Chocolate sorbet with lavender, orange and Maldon sea salt – everything I love in a dessert

Cognac, of which we could enjoy as much as we wanted

Additional mini desserts

And the bookend the meal, sweet black and white cookies

An empty dining room, 1:30am

The bar

Entrance

Our menu – July 16, 2012

A gift to take home – literally the best granola I’ve ever had. I’ve already tried making this at home using Humm’s own recipe but it never comes out nearly as good.

There’s been a trend lately for high-end dining chefs to explore rustic, comfort food at a friendlier price point (chalk it up to the recession or whatever you want) but there’s still something to be said about taking the time (and money) to sit down and enjoy a long meal that lets you forget about everything else. It’ll be a while before I get to return to EMP (I’d love to try the duck course that everyone raves about), but I do think that, if you manage to get the hard-won reservation, it’s definitely well worth the splurge. Thank you to Daniel Humm, the EMP kitchen, and the amazing EMP staff for a truly unforgettable meal, and to Cindy for being crazy enough to go with me and spend so much on a single meal.

 

Eleven Madison Park
11 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10010
212.889.0905

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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