What better way to start the New Year than to dine at a fine establishment like Eleven Madison Park?
That’s precisely what Lily and I did on January, Friday the 13th!
When we first started the Michelin Star Challenge back last Fall, we wanted the first restaurant to be Eleven Madison Park. Boy… was I overzealous. It took me nearly 3 months to get a reservation for 2 at the newly donned 3 Michelin Star rated restaurant.
And it was well worth the wait!
Before the big day we had already agreed that we would go all out and order their dinner tasting menu. We wanted to start off 2012 with a bang and little did we know what more was in store for us…
The restaurant itself is located on the ground floor of an art deco building right across from the famous Madison Square Park. As soon as you enter through the revolving doors it feels a bit like you’re going into a train station. But once you are on the other side you’re overcome by an impressive and grand space. In the middle of the dining area you immediately take notice of the white bouquet, center piece.
When we sat down we were greeted by Kevin, our main man, who along with a team of 5 others took care of us the whole evening. The staff was not pretentious and all were warm and friendly. The sommelier was cheerful and made suggestions on what to pair with what. Our dishes were brought to us in a timely manner and they gave us detailed information on each dish. For a couple of the entrees, a story was even included (clambake, egg cream, etc.). Being such a prestigious restaurant you would think that the service would be stuffy. But it was anything but that; extremely attentive but not over bearing, and charming at times.
Each entree was creatively plated and perfectly delicious. It was as if we were eating works of art. Lily and I both agreed that the squab was the best piece of foul that we had ever tasted in our lives! Everything was flavorful and was exquisite. The meal was a sensory over load in the most positive sense… just looking at the plates, hearing what each dish was made of, consuming the savory, sweet, multi-layered tastes; it was all mind blowing.
Click below to see the Tasting Menu
*** TASTING MENU ***
CHICKEN Velouté with Parsley Oil, Liver Mousse and Brioche
HAMACHI AND SCALLOP Pickled Ginger and Lemon; Ceviche with Tangerine
YOGURT AND CHICKPEAS Lollipops with Curry; Panisse with Yogurt
APPLE Gelée with Sea Urchin, Caviar, and Foie Gras
CLAM Clambake with Chorizo, Apple, and Potato
PUNTARELLA Salad with Tardivo, Anchovies, and Garlic
FOIE GRAS Smoked Terrine with Black Truffle, Potato, and Rye
CAULIFLOWER Roasted with Raisins, Brown Butter, and Madras Curry
LOBSTER Poached with Meyer Lemon, Burnt Leeks, and Shellfish Bisque
SQUAB Roasted with Beets, Onions, and Chocolate Jus
TRIPLE CREME With Pumpkin, Apple, and Rye Crisps
EGG CREAM Orange, Cocoa Nib, and Seltzer
CHEESECAKE Goat Cheese, Cranberry, and Lime
CHOCOLATE Mousse with Malt Sorbet, Olive Oil, and Meyer Lemon
Our enthusiasm regarding the food must have been obvious. Towards the end of our meal we were greeted by Daniel, the restaurant manager. He asked us how our evening was going and invited us to tour the kitchen! We were excited and felt as if we won some fine dining lottery.
The tour was like a field trip! The pastry chef made us special apple cocktails that were made from pomegranate syrup, diced apples, liquid nitrogen frozen apple brandy and foam.
The kitchen was spacious and immaculate. Everyone was wearing their chef whites and there were no stains on the uniforms; spotless! The kitchen was like a well-functioning time piece; huge, pristine with everything in order.
We got to meet James Kent, the chef de cuisine and signed their guest book!
Afterwards, Daniel led us to the VIP guest/lounge where we were served a complimentary bottle of cognac champagne along with more delicious desserts.
Before we left, we parted with gifts. A card with listing all the entrees from the tasting menu, complimentary homemade granola, magazines. They really thought of every little thing!
The whole experience was truly magical. I’m not sure if any other dining experience will compare to this one.
Thank you Eleven Madison Park for kicking off 2012 to a great start!
The holidays bringeth feasts fit for Kings (and in my case) Queens!
If you’re a meat lover and appreciate big slabs of beef then this place is for you. Smith & Wollensky is a big-time steak house that serves huge manly portions of succulent steak for the carnivores dining on the company’s dime.
We had various appetizers: Creamed Spinach, Hashed Browns, Wild Mushrooms, Fried Calamari, Roasted Cauliflower. Some of the other starters are below.
Seafood Platter, fresh crab, shrimp and lobster!
Each of us had a plate with the following condiments for our appetizers from the sea.
And drum roll, please…..
♩ ♪ ♬ ♫ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♪ ♫ ♪ ♩ ♬
Rib Eye Steak medium rare…. just the way I like it!
My meat… after the killing.
The dinner table.
The dessert cart
I managed to take a picture of the kitchen, where the magic happens.
A great time was had talking shop, talking shit, and eating like refined savages.