Lunch at New York’s Eleven Madison Park

New York, New York….there is no other city that makes me feel so alive. Other cities come very close but the nothing beats the buzz of walking the streets of New York!

And then there is the food! For months before we left I had been trawling the web, reading everything I could to make sure that I didn’t miss out on a fabulous meal while we were there.

We were in New York to celebrate my birthday…unfortunately it was one ending in a zero….but this only gave me another excuse to book some of New York’s top restaurants.

Eleven Madison Park or EMP as it is affectionatly known, often competes with Thomas Keller’s Per Se as the best restaurant in this city full of fabulous restaurants.

The art deco interior of the beautiful 1920’s Metropolitan Life North Building is a perfect setting for chef Daniel Humm to showcase his skills. High ceilings, stunning windows and beautiful flowers combine to provide an elegant yet relaxed feeling. The staff are very friendly and extremely professional.

 

Interior of Eleven Madison Park, New York

The art deco interior of EMP

 

Flowers at Eleven Madison Park, New York

Beautiful flower arrangements

 

A four course, a la carte menu is available, but for me it was always going to be the seven course degustation menu. Not included in this was the myriad of amuse bouche courses that were brought out as we sipped our aperitif.

The first came as a small gift box hiding two black and white cookies. Thoughtfully for those of us who have not heard of this american treat, a note explaining the significance of the cookies was attached. Originally found in 24 hour diners and old style bakeries, these cookies were made from left over cake batter and iced with chocolate on one side and vanilla on the other. But these were not at all like the original cookies. As we opened the box the smell of truffle permeated the air. Our cookies were filled with creme fraiche, truffles and foie gras. Sublime!

 

Black and white cookies at Eleven Madison Park, New York

Black and white cookies

 

A cup of tea followed….a smoked apple tea infused with thyme which was served with the beautifully presented quail eggs on brioche with bacon. Greek yoghurt lollipops with curried lentils followed….again beautifully presented standing in a glass box of lentils.  The smooth yoghurt mixture melted in your mouth and left a hint of curry that was on the crunchy lentils.
The amuse continued with chick pea panelle, the small mouthfuls of deep fried chick pea reminding us of our trip to Sicily.

Amuse bouche at Eleven Madison Park, New York

L-R:Quail egg on brioche, Greek yoghurt lollipops, chick pea panelle

 

The next amuse bouche was EMP’s famous Smoked Sturgeon- Sabayon with chive oil. Served in an egg shell, we were advised to make sure we incorporated the small pieces of smoked fish on the bottom in with the smooth, light sabayon. Perfection!

Smoked Sturgeon Sabayon at Eleven Madison Park, New York

Smoked Sturgeon Sabayon

 

Intrigued by the arrival of a teapot sitting on a base of rocks, it was explained that a New York clam bake was on the menu. Hot liquid was poured over the rocks and the steam rose whilst two plates of clams done in different ways appeared. One was with trout roe, corn puree and chorizo and the other with fennel. A lobster and olive oil madeleine accompanied the dishes as the delicious corn chowder was poured from the teapot. A clever interpretation.

 

Clam bake at Eleven Madison Park, New York

EMP's answer to a New York clam bake

 

Then the tasting menu started!!

Our first course was cauliflower with tabbouli salad. Tiny,tiny pieces of cauliflower had been put together with grated lemon, orange and dried olive. As we bit through the cooked tabbouli snow, we reached a delicious parsley cream.

 

Cauliflower tabbouli salad at Eleven Madison Park

Cauliflower tabbouli salad with parsley cream

 

Slices of an excellent foie gras terrine followed. This was served with ramps, an american vegetable similar to a wild leek, a sorrel puree, buckwheat oasts and black truffles. The foie gras was as velvety and rich as it should be.

 

Foie gras at Eleven Madison Park, New York

Foie gras with buckwheat and ramps

 

Hidden under a salad of spring greens which included snow pea sprouts and fiddle wood ferns, was our next course. Eat your salad for only then you will find the caraway gnocchi that will transport you to heaven!!

 

Caraway gnocchi with spring vegetables at Eleven Madison Park, New York York

Caraway gnocchi with spring vegetables.

 

Lobster was the title on the menu for the next course. Little did I realise what a taste sensation this would be. The description of  lobster poached in butter and served with a seafood sauce, charred leeks, charred leek sauce and charred bay leaf cake had me wondering. Unnecessarily of course. It tasted every bit as good as it looked.

 

 

Lobster with charred leeks at Eleven Madison Park, New York

Lobster with charred leeks (Instagram photo)

 

 

And lunch continued……!

55- day dry aged Angus beef served with baby potatoes, sorrell sauce, pickled mushrooms and bordelaise sauce was perfectly cooked with the flavours complementing each other.

Angus beef at Eleven Madison Park, New York

Angus beef with spring vegetables

 

Let’s not forget the cheese course…Honfleur cheese melted over a potato confit with pickled onions and mustard seeds

Honfleur cheese course at Eleven Madison Park, New York

Honfleur cheese stars in this cheese course

 

Our pre-dessert course was a take on the New York Classic Egg Cream prepared on the trolley by the table. A small amount of citrus infused olive oil and coca infused milk was whisked together before being aerated. A great palate cleanser.

Making of the Egg Cream at Eleven Madison Park in New York

Making of EMP's New York Egg Cream

 

 

At this time we were invited to visit the kitchen. How fantastic!

A small standing table had been set up in an alcove on the edge of the kitchen for the restaurant guests. Here, as we chatted to the staff and watched the comings and goings, one of the pastry chefs whipped up her own concoction described as a  ‘Jack Rose’- a brandy and grenadine based cocktail topped with a ball of apple puree sorbet that had been immersed in liquid nitrogen.

 

The kitchen at Eleven Madison Park in New York

Behind the scenes at EMP

 

Dessert greeted us on our return to the table. Not one but two!

Goats milk cheesecake was served as a panna cotta type base with orange icecream and vanilla snow. I couldn’t decide whether I preferred this dessert or the bergamot cream with a drizzle of olive oil, milk chocolate icecream, and cocoa puff pastry crumble! Too hard!

Desserts at Eleven Madison Park, New York

Desserts!

 

 

Sweet treats at Eleven Madison Park in New York

Salted caramel biscuits, Paul Beau Cognac and EMP's boxed black and white cookies

 

At the end of this amazing meal, a bottle of Paul Beau cognac was left at the table and we were invited to stay as long as we would like. Petit fours arrived and disappeared very quickly and another box of black and white cookies also appeared for us to take home….sweet treats this time !

 

This is a reason that Eleven Madison Park is at No 10 on  San Pellegrino’s  The World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. Chef Daniel Humm and his partner Will Guidara, have created a stunning restaurant where the food is inventive and playful whilst still embracing reality.

A trip to New York will now always include a visit to Eleven Madison Park!

 

Eleven Madison Park, New York

Eleven Madison Park
11 Madison Avenue
New York
Tel:212 889 0905
Eleven Madison Park 

 

Information
Depending on when you are travelling, a lot of New York’s restaurants require booking a month in advance, especially for weekend dining. This can easily be done using ‘Open Table‘, a reservation system used by most of the restaurants. Find it at www.opentable.com

Having said that, don’t give up if  there are no bookings available. We rang EMP on the day we wanted to go to lunch and were told that the restaurant was full but we could eat at the bar. When we arrived we were offered a table and in fact three tables remained free this day!!

 

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24 Responses to Lunch at New York’s Eleven Madison Park

  1. jan June 22, 2012 at 7:19 am #

    I am amazed!

    • [email protected] June 22, 2012 at 10:54 am #

      It was exceptional Jan. Just writing it made we want to go back for another lunch!

      • jan June 22, 2012 at 11:11 am #

        It seems like a lot to eat. I guess they are only small portions and spread out so it feels just right.

        • [email protected] June 23, 2012 at 2:58 pm #

          Every dish was so fabulous you didn’t want it to stop!! Small serves helped and as you said, lunch took about 4 hours!!

  2. Johanna June 22, 2012 at 4:18 pm #

    My gosh it looks wonderful and so sophisticated! From the ambience and setting to the food and presentation. Just gorgeous. I’d love to go one day 🙂

    • [email protected] June 23, 2012 at 2:46 pm #

      It was perfect Jo. I’ll certainly be going back on my next visit!

  3. Alex June 22, 2012 at 9:50 pm #

    What, 30 already?!?

    Can we go in Nov 2013, when the clan descends on NY?

    • [email protected] June 23, 2012 at 2:50 pm #

      Yep…the big 30!!! Can I be younger than my daughters!!
      We’ll definately go there, I wouldn’t miss it !! I’ve already got the restaurant list started….we’re going to need a month!!

  4. marina June 23, 2012 at 8:43 am #

    wow – pure indulgence! Happy Birthday – this is a lovely way to be treated!

    • [email protected] June 23, 2012 at 2:52 pm #

      Thanks Marina. Totally spoilt but I deserve it!!! 🙂 I had to make the most of being the birthday girl so I could try all the fabulous restaurants!

  5. Debra Kolkka June 23, 2012 at 11:13 am #

    I absolutely love New York!! Time for another trip there. That food looks amazing.

    • [email protected] June 23, 2012 at 2:55 pm #

      We hadn’t been back for about 15 years Debra, but it was as though our last visit was only recently. So much fun..I won’t be leaving it as long till the next visit. The food in New York was so exciting. We ate at some fabulous restaurants.

  6. Krista June 25, 2012 at 1:09 pm #

    Oh Jenny, this looks absolutely fantastic!!! What a beautiful spot and such delicious food. 🙂

    • [email protected] June 25, 2012 at 3:13 pm #

      It was sublime Krista! I love degustation menus where you can try many different taste sensations!

  7. Amy | Appetite for Discovery June 26, 2012 at 9:11 pm #

    Thanks for this informative and tantalising post! Pinned!

    • [email protected] June 27, 2012 at 8:21 am #

      Pleasure Amy. Writing about it kept the memory alive! It was an amazing lunch – I hope you get there one day! Thanks for the pin!

  8. Lisa | Renovating Italy June 28, 2012 at 3:45 pm #

    Oh Jenny you just sent my taste buds into a frenzy! What a sumptuous elegant meal, each course outdoing the last. And I just love the idea of the cookies all wrapped and so beautifully presented. I still remember being taken to an exclusive French restaurant by my Aunt and Uncle after they took us all to see The Phantom of the Opera, I was in my 20’s and had just arrived in London. There were maybe 20 of us and the waiters came out and each lifted the covers off the dish at exactly the same time. Incredible, an art form in itself.
    Happy Birthday
    ciao lisa x

    • [email protected] June 28, 2012 at 8:53 pm #

      It was the little extra touches, like the boxed black and white cookies, that added to our experience here. I’m sure I’ll remember this and a couple of other fabulous meals we had in NY for a long time, just as you do your french restaurant. Thankyou for the birthday wishes Lisa.

  9. Jennifer (Delicieux) June 28, 2012 at 4:24 pm #

    What an amazing meal and review. It felt like I was there with you. Each dish looks so amazing, just like the book. I am in awe of this amazing restaurant and spent days reading their book and marvelling over the beautiful food. I so wish I had made the time to visit EMP on our last visit to New York, but it’s definitely on the list for our honeymoon next year!

    • [email protected] June 28, 2012 at 9:04 pm #

      Thankyou Jennifer for your kind words. I also enjoyed reading the story of the restaurant. It’s great that you’re going back so you can experience it for yourself! We also tried a few other fabulous restaurants that you might want to go to – I’ll be writiing about these in the next couple of weeks so stay tuned!!

  10. Jackie Smith @travelnwrite March 23, 2013 at 12:00 am #

    Wonderful way to celebrate the “0” birthday. I have one coming up later this year. . .wonder what it will be like to be a 30-something 🙂 Ha! Happy Day and year ahead!

    • [email protected] March 25, 2013 at 6:08 pm #

      It was a great birthday thanks Jackie. It doesn’t feel any different. For me it’s just a number but I am slightly worried that I might not have enough time to do all that I want to…the wish list is so long!
      I hope you have a fabulous celebration too.

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