|Pea soup amuse bouche|
If you find yourself with something to celebrate in New York (the fact that you're in New York, perhaps?), look no further than Eleven Madison Park for a special occasion meal that you won't forget in a hurry.
With its soaring ceilings and huge windows, the Art Deco dining room is light, airy and elegant. It has a classic New York feel. But Eleven Madison Park is different right from the start.
|Amuse no 2.|
The surprise tasting menu allows diners to choose from 3 or 4 courses by only selecting the main ingredient listed - so, for first course, choose from LETTUCE, CRAB, TROUT or FOIE GRAS, and the rest will be entirely up to the imagination of Chef Daniel Humm. Each dish is delicately and beautifully presented - a smile inducing joy to look at as much as to eat.
Among the delights, we enjoyed a dainty CRAB salad with pickled daikon radish and crustacean mayonnaise, followed by a luscious soft poached EGG with frogs legs, English pears and ramps. Mains included poached CHICKEN with Provencale asparagus, morels and black truffles, followed by a magnificent CHOCOLATE tart with salted caramel and chocolate sorbet.
Wines were expertly matched by the glass (resulting in quite the happily on top of the world toddle home) and service was friendly and unstuffy - right down to accommodating TPG's new gluten free diet with 4 different types of bread (putting my efforts of buying him the occasional pouch of sympathy flax to shame).
It's pricey but reasonable considering the quality and creativity (particularly given the outrageous pricing of many London tasting menus) and the rollicking good long lunch you will have.
Lunch: 3 courses for $56, 4 courses for $74.
Dinner: 3 courses for $125, 4 courses for $195.
Worth every cent.
I think Eleven Madison Park now has the edge over Per Se, Jean-Georges and any other fine dining I've had in my favorite city of gastronomic delights. Book well in advance.
Eleven Madison Park, 11 Madison Avenue, New York, 10010
Other favourites from this most May 2011 recent trip were newbie The Dutch (fabulous, fun, great food, open late), The Spotted Pig (a burger for brunch - why not?), Craft (an old favourite - still wonderful), Georgia's Eastside BBQ (for massive plates of fried chicken, pulled pork potato salad, slaw etc - not one for dieters) and Gimme Coffee for coffee. Oh, and don't miss the views from the hotel bar at the Mandarin Oriental for cocktails. If I get time (and you may have noticed I'm struggling on that front lately - work can really get in the way of a good time) I'll try to write some of them up. TPG has been promising to help me on that score with some kind of guest entry but so far, so tumbleweed.