I had only been to Eleven Madison Park once before (when they offered a special 2-course $28 meal). Sadly that deal is no longer available, but they do offer a spectacular dining experience. So when Jen and Bryan came up from Boston to visit and suggested that we meet for lunch here, I was more than excited to return.
Dining at Eleven Madison Park is a can't-miss experience with beautiful, elegant food and impeccable service. The menu reminded me of Blue Hill at Stone Barns: instead of detailed dish explanations, our menu only listed 16 main ingredients (each one representing a different dish). For lunch, you can choose between 3 courses ($56) or 4 courses ($74), both including dessert.
After ordering, we immediate received all of the complimentary small bites: buttery gougère, mackerel tea (very good, seemed more like a broth) with dashi and seafood served with seaweed sesame crisps, and creamy sabayon presented in egg shells.
Most of the table opted for the rich foie gras as their first course. Isn't this dish as pretty as a picture?
Since I wasn't eating meat for Lent, I opted to start with Oysters (which definitely was not a sacrifice!) The oysters were so rich as it's served with a creamy sauce. My favorite part was the bright green leek gelatinous sauce.
Most of the table chose the lobster for their second dish, but it was my main dish (I only opted for the 3 course menu). The dish was as luxurious as it looks and I loved the seasonal vegetables in it.
For their main courses, the rest of the table had either pork shoulder or the veal. Afterward, another inventive complimentary small dish was served. This palette cleanser featured tangerine snow (looks like foam), cilantro, jasmine sorbet, and shortbread. It was light and tangy.
Time for my favorite meal - dessert! Before our dishes even arrived, we were given complimentary crisps (they were sweet like butterscotch) and mini carrot macarons (which were amazing!). Jen opted for the lemon dessert, her husband Bryan chose cheese (a Wisconsin cheddar and an English cheese), and Christine chose the luscious chocolate dish.
Normally I'm a chocolate girl, but that day I opted for the light pear dessert. It was the perfect end to a lovely meal.
Chef Humm was charming and visited every table in the restaurant to make sure that everyone had an enjoyable lunch. He kindly agreed to take a photo with us foodie groupies. If you're ever in the NYC area and want to treat yourself to an incredible dining experience, you must make a reservation here!