Wednesday, March 24, 2010

NYC: Eleven Madison Park Tasting Menu

The best dinner of my last NYC trip? Easy. Eleven Madison Park.

"Taste of Autumn" menu - $125 (yes, this was back in late November - a belated post) in a art deco dining room with magnificently high ceilings. It's quiet, it's classy. Frank Bruni gave Executive Chef Daniel Humm's food four stars before leaving NY Times, so I came with high expectations. Luckily, they were met.

Warm gougeres to start the meal that will be marked by courteous and professional service.

A plate of pretty and whimsical amuse bouches came immediately after: beet marshmallow, foie gras pate, fried sweetbread mini come (and another which escapes me at the moment).

Hawaiian Prawns Roulade with avocado, lime, and yogurt
First impression: gorgeous. Lasting impression: a delicious play of crisp prawns and the smooth and creamy avocado, both of which were so fresh their flavors scarcely needed the yogurt.

Sea urchin cappuccino with Peekytoe crab.
The uni here contributed to a rich creaminess, but the flavor did not come out as strongly (to the delight of my companion, who didn't like uni all that much).

Dover Sole. Slow cooked with Matsutake sabayon and Nasturtium.
Firm yet moist and tender, the Dover Sole's texture was little overwhelmed by the creamy sabayon, but the flavors worked quite well.

Four Story Hill Farm Suckling Pig Confit with spiced plum chutney, cipollini onions and cider jus.
Tender confit topped with crisped crunchy skin. The spiced plum chutney was both interesting and had nice flavors, but was perhaps unnecessary for this confit. The combination was a bit too rich and sweet. Regardless, the confit itself was excellent.

Millbrook Farms Venison, herb roasted with gingerbread puree, porcini, and black mission figs.
See how pink it is in the center? Loved it. It's tender, it's almost rare, it's a little gamey, it's perfect. The venison and the figs were a winning combination.

As a palate cleanser, "Kir Royale" on a ceramic pillow. Cassis, meringue, champagne emulsion.
A light palate cleanser that did its job nicely.
Oh and that ceramic pillow almost fooled me. Good thing I didn't break it :P

Araguani Chocolate Ganache with Sweet Potato Dauphine and Chestnut Honey.
A rich and decadent Valrhona ganache will get my vote anytime, but the sweet potato dauphine was surprisingly good for me who was never all that big on sweet potato (I like it but I don't love it like many people I know).

Mignardises involved macarons and chocolates.
Some of the macaron flavors were almost as whimsical as the amuse bouches: violet, peanut butter and jelly, black sesame.
The chocolate truffles also involved me going "Ohh, hmm ..." when they asked me which flavors I wanted.

A box of fruit jelly for the ladies to take home. My snack for the next two days.

It wasn't just the food. It was the space, the service. After rushing around the city, I felt calm and relaxed dining here, but never were we waiting too long for the next course slightly annoyed. The food itself deserved three or four stars. One Michelin star? If you ask me I'd give them at least two.


Eleven Madison Park

11 Madison Ave
New York, NY 10010
(212) 889-0905
www.elevenmadisonpark.com
Eleven Madison Park on Urbanspoon
Eleven Madison Park in New York

14 comments:

MyLastBite

I've never been... adding to EATS ON MY LIST.

burumun

Do it! :D Put it near the top of your NYC list

Sam

woohoo! another happy customer.

Gastronomer

OMG! So sad I missed this place on my last visit. Curse getting sick while traveling!

Sharon

What a great tasting menu! My family is from New York although I don't live there now we did have a few birthday dinners there many years ago. Amazing food, and I agree great service and atmosphere. Great post!

Aaron

Nice timing. Matt and I are going there for lunch on Friday. Is this the first year EMP got a star? If it is, I don't think Michelin can give more than one star its first year

weezermonkey

Yes, please!

Going to NYC in August....

burumun

Sam: Indeed! I've now learned to take all your recommendations :P

Gastronomer: Aww, that's too bad! I always hate getting sick on vacations too :( Hope you get to go again soon.

Sharon: Thanks! I can't wait to go back.

Aaron: Oh! I didn't know that about the star rating. I believe it is their first year, although I remember many people balked at the omission of EMP the year before.

Weezermonkey: Yes! Go :) and hope you enjoy it as much.

EatTravelEat

Certainly sounds relaxing and delicious. Those plates are really nice, I have to say, especially with the sea urchin cappuccino. Real plate or shell?

burumun

EatTravelEat: Yep I love all their presentations and tableware. That "uni shell" is a real bowl too ;)

Kung Food Panda

Definitely my fav meal so far in 2010. A return to EMP is a must for me when I return to NYC this October?

Linda

Pretentious!!!! A client brought me here a few months ago, I'm sure they thought I'd be terribly impressed, which I wasn't. You see, I'm an animal lover and this place, for starters, serves foie gras. Yes I eat fish, and all animals that go to the slaughterhouse suffer one way or another, but what they do to the birds to make foie gras is terribly brutal and cruel. You all do know that they jam pipes down the animals' throats and force feed them so much food that a large percentage literally explode before they reach your appetizer plate.

In Chicago--as many European countries have-- I believe they have outlawed it.

So I wasn't impressed and I will never eat here again. Oh and to all the "fancy" people who order the stuff, and keep a demand to continue this barbaric practice: Shame on you.

BTW, the food was also mediocre at best.

kristen

Oh Linda, did you know that there are humane and sustainable ways to raise the geese that become the foie? http://www.cheeseslave.com/2009/10/20/chef-dan-barber-brings-sustainable-humane-foie-gras-to-america/

Education, it's what's for dinner.

gourmetpigs

Linda,

Please also read the following article on why foie gras is not unethical.
http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/12/the-physiology-of-foie-why-foie-gras-is-not-u.html

and the following wiki article on the environmental effects of fishing
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Environmental_effects_of_fishing
as well as fish farms:
http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/fish/fish-farming/ocean-fish-farming-can-hurt-consumers-and-the-environment/

An article in Science predicts we would run out of wild caught fish in 2048, that's less than 37 years away.

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