|image from New York Journal|
On my most recent trip to NYC I planned a culinary food (and unfortunately, wallet breaking) tour - I wanted to eat like a New Yorker and enjoy the foods of the big apple.
High on the list of restaurants on various blogs, websites and reviews was Eleven Madison Park located in the Flatiron district of Manhattan. I did my research and asked a trusted fellow foodie (thanks, Manh N) if this place was worthy of the "coin" I was going to pay for this meal. Yes! Reservations made (I was lucky to get a table) and I had to make sure we packed proper attire as this is a "jacket required" establishment.
Note: I did not take pictures. I was too embarrassed to be snapping pictures in this highly acclaimed, three Michelin star restaurant. On their website there are fantastic photos of the dishes as well as videos which are magical!
The space is "grand". The ceilings are high and reminded me and my dining partners of a bank - and of course we were spot on. The folks at EMP really did a great job with the decor.
We were seated immediately and taken care of to help us settle in for our 4 course dinner. Let me mention now that the service was top notch! Our every need was taken care of.
Fancy restaurants serve what is called an amuse-bouche which is french for "mouth amuser". It's a bite sized gift from the kitchen so you don't know what it is. Like any gift, accept it graciously and enjoy!
In addition, hot from the oven dinner rolls are served throughout the meal. They are very buttery and the offering of freshly churned goat and dairy butter is just over the top!
The menu is a piece of paper with four foods across and down. You choose one from each row to represent the main ingredient in each course. Basically, it's a surprise meal but you'll know what the focus of the dish will be. Of course you are in control and the waitstaff will ask if you have food allergies or aversions to anything so to prepare a fabulous meal catered to you.
What I ordered: Foie Gras, Black Truffle, Pork & Chocolate
Without boring you with each individual dish and all the silly foodie descriptions I'll summarize. Foie Gras was seared and fantastic. I love black truffles and the salad was delicious. Pork was prepared sous-vide then bruleed for a fantastic crust (ghetto talk: food in an airtight zip lock, placed in really warm water for several hours to cook) and dessert was the "icing on the cake".
We had a few additional gifts from the kitchen to end our meal comprised of their interpretations of NYC foods - orange soda and black & white cookies.
A surprise visit from the chef was intimidating, yet was a beautiful touch. He, as well as a visiting chef made their way around the dining room.
When presented with our check, two things stood out. First, it was hand written. No computer print out - just a simple hand written note and the numbers $695. Secondly the pen that accompanied our bill was a silver Cross pen. That is pretty classy!
|photo by miranda xsavier|
e. coast correspondent, www.almostFitToEat.com
What an incredible dining experience. My dining companions had a wonderful time too. What an amazing New York experience. If you're in NYC, you'll want to dine here. It's absolutely an unforgettable meal. I will go again.