July 15, 2010

Eleven Madison Park - $28 2-course Lunch Deal

Eleven Madison Park has a been a NYC fixture since it opened its doors in 1998 and it continues to win dining accolades.  Chef Daniel Humm recently won the James Beard award for Best New Chef in NYC 2010 and the Michelin starred restaurant has also received a 4-star rating from Frank Bruni/NY Times.

With such high praise, I knew I wanted to dine here...and with a fixed-price $28 2-course weekday lunch special, I could back again and again!  So to celebrate Bastille Day yesterday, my friend and I came to this Relais & Chateaux restaurant and pondered what to eat amongst the 16 dish options.

I love gougeres and find them so addictive.  They're like warm cheese puffs that I could keep popping in my mouth.  This complimentary bite was served, along with our bread, with a small dish of salt.
Complimentary amuse bouche: Carrot marshmallows and Fois Gras with Black Pepper and Strawberry Gelee.  We thought that the carrot marshmallows were interesting but tasted a little musky.  However, we loved the fois gras.  With the gelee tasting like fresh strawberry jam, this bite was a nice mix of sweet and salty.
My friend ordered an Iced Tea ($5) and little did we know that it would come with syrups of Hibiscus, Ginger Lime, and Vanilla.  She experimented with a few flavors (the free refills helped!) and found the hibiscus/ginger lime mix too mild and preferred the straight fragrant vanilla flavor which balanced well with the tea.
I ordered the Big Eye Tuna Tartare with Sorrel, Lemon, and Taggiasca Olives.  I'm so used to tuna tartare coming in mold-form that it was refreshing to receive this deconstructed plate.  It was more akin to fresh sashimi with a myriad of flavors (citrusy lemon gelee, salty crisps, and fresh sorrel).
My friend ordered the Tagliolini with Alaskan King crab, black pepper, and lemon.  It was so buttery, it tasted like a warm hug.  I could taste some dill in it as well and the bites left a cozy feeling in my stomach.
For my main course, I ordered the Herb Roasted Colorado Lamb with Eggplant, Cumin, and Yogurt.  The plate was artfully designed and the lamb was perfectly cooked.  It was so tender while the eggplant preparation was interesting.  The sauce was a tad salty, but the whole dish was rich and satisfying.
My friend ordered the Seared Scottish Salmon with Summer Beans and Violet Mustard.  I loved all of the seasonal vegetables, which also included yellow and purple potatoes. 
We were already full from dinner...and then our server rolled out the Dessert Cart full of housemade tarts.  We asked our server about her favorites and she narrowed our choices down to the strawberry shortcake, Kouign Amann, and chocolate with gold leaf torte.
We chose the Strawberry Shortcake ($12) which was sweet, fruity, light, and creamy.  So good!
And then our server decided to give us a piece of the Kouign Amann with Sour Cherry (complimentary).  She wanted us to try it since it was unique.  The cake reminded me of Italian panetone because it was like a flaky bread/croissant vs a cake.  I later learned that the Kouign Amann is a buttery Breton cake.  It is made with a dough similar to bread and made with butter and sugar (which caramelizes). 
The service was impeccable (My friend noted how the staff all seem completely aware of their customers.  She liked how they would seamlessly move to one side as she was guided to the restrooms).  I loved the interior with its high vaulted ceilings and numerous uniform floral arrangements.  Overall, it was an elegant meal and I will definitely return.

Eleven Madison Park is located at 11 Madison Ave (at E 24th St) in NYC.

Eleven Madison Park on Urbanspoon

5 comments:

  1. This looks like an amazing place to dine.

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  2. I really have to make my way over there. Everyone has such a great meal when they go.

    Great pics!

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  3. That looks like a fantastic meal! I've been wanting to try this place for awhile. I told Bryan I wanted to do the $28 lunch and he indicated that he'd rather go during dinner to try more things. Maybe next time we are in NYC we'll check this place out.

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  4. I recently met up with friends for drinks at Eleven Madison Park and we loved our experience there! Our server was friendly and very helpful when it came to suggesting drinks. When I saw that they offered a Pimm's Cup on their drink menu, they had me. Sounds like I have to get back there for a real meal!

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  5. Ooh, a Pimm's Cup sounds so refreshing right now! Yes, definitely go for a meal especially during their fixed priced lunch. It's such a great deal!

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