Eleven Madison Park, New York City, 9/ 20/14

Entrance
Entrance

It’s been a couple years since we were last here and the ratings of EMP continue to rise. Its chef also manages the NoMad Restaurant so you will see some similarities of preparation. Stellar credentials but somehow it misses the mark with me. The food is beautifully presented, the room is gorgeous and the staff totally spoil you, but the flavor impact is just not there. It is one of those restaurants that is lost in the presentation and show of the food.

Lots of table side activities and gimmicks and high prices to go with it. One thing that has always bothered me about the place is the way the staff line up next to the bar and look out over the dining room. I know it’s to observe and make sure all is being taken care of, but it rather makes me feel like I’m eating in a fishbowl.

Anyway, as far as the meal, it is a tasting menu and you choose your preparation of foie gras and beef or duck for protein course. This visit they also had you choose a flavor that later determined which soda flavor you got with the “picnic basket”. It’s around 15 courses and they are small enough that you can easily make it through. The timing is 3-4 hours. You start with the black and white cookie that you also end with. Starting it’s savory and ending it’s sweet. The first was very tasty. The melon salad-cucumber salad was pretty but almost tasteless. A snafu in their presentation was the tomato covered with dots followed by the pastrami sandwich whose bread came out decorated with very similar dots. The pastrami was tasty but the flavored sodas seemed silly and didn’t enhance the food. The rolls they served next are superb and really didn’t need butter but the beef or pork enhanced butters were too fun to not try.
Again with the apple salad the presentation was the standout, not the taste. The soup was fairly tasteless and followed by the very bland halibut. And so it goes on and on. Overall it was a very pleasant experience but a disappointment for what it should have been. Several years ago EMP trended toward a bunch of theme stuff which makes for a fun show but I’m just more into flavor right now. It’s a place you should go just for the show and service (and the rolls!) but if you’re looking for a taste experience to knock it out of the park this one isn’t it.

interior
interior
interior
interior

IMG_2472 IMG_2473

Champagne
Champagne
Champagne cork top
Champagne cork top
Cookie presentation
Cookie presentation
Savory black and white cheese cookie with apple
Savory black and white cheese cookie with apple
Oyster
Oyster
Caviar and baked potato ice cream
Caviar and baked potato ice cream
Melon salad with cucumber and lemon verbena
Melon salad with cucumber and lemon verbena
Tomato tea with lemon thyme
Tomato tea with lemon thyme

IMG_2545

tomato salad with lobster and garlic
tomato salad with lobster and garlic
tomato plated
tomato plated
Rye bread with peppers, mustard and cherry (to go with pastrami)
Rye bread with peppers, mustard and cherry (to go with pastrami)
Beef pastrami
Beef pastrami
Celery, cherry and coffee sodas
Celery, cherry and coffee sodas
Bread
Bread
Beef fat butter (foreground), pork fat butter (back)
Beef fat butter (foreground), pork fat butter (back)
Seared foie gras with chanterelles and plums
Seared foie gras with chanterelles and plums
Foie gras brulee with raspberries, blackb erries and gooseberries
Foie gras brulee with raspberries, blackb erries and gooseberries
Table side preparation of Waldorf salad
Table side preparation of Waldorf salad
presentation
presentation
bowl comes apart to serve together
bowl comes apart to serve together
Apple Waldorf salad with celery, walnuts and grapes
Apple Waldorf salad with celery, walnuts and grapes
apple soup
apple soup
Slow roasted halibut with pickled daikon and radishes
Slow roasted halibut with pickled daikon and radishes

IMG_2554

Braised celtuce with pistachio, romaine and sorrel
Braised celtuce with pistachio, romaine and sorrel
Duck presentation
Duck presentation
Beef presentation
Beef presentation
Beef grilled with eggplant, amaranth and shallot
Beef grilled with eggplant, amaranth and shallot
Duck roasted with peaches and fennel
Duck roasted with peaches and fennel
completed with EMP opener
completed with EMP opener
Inside the picnic basket
Inside the basket
brown ale
brown ale
Fresh cheese, pretzel, parsley and Thomcord grapes
Fresh cheese, pretzel, parsley and Thomcord grapes
Whey sorbet with caramelized milk and milk foam
Whey sorbet with caramelized milk and milk foam
Baked Alaska presentation
Baked Alaska presentation
Almond baked Alaska with rum, caramel and coffee
Almond baked Alaska with rum, caramel and coffee
Chocolate covered pretzel with sea salt
Chocolate covered pretzel with sea salt
Sweet black and white chocolate cookie with raspberry ganache
Sweet black and white chocolate cookie with raspberry ganache
Apple brandy
Apple brandy
Frankie likes the string best!
Frankie likes the string best!
kitchen
kitchen
kitchen
kitchen
Making a fresh apple ice for us
Making a fresh apple ice for us
having fun
having fun

IMG_2645

Granola to take with you
Granola to take with you

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s