Thursday, 18 December 2014

Eleven Madison Park, New York

The last night of our trip to the Big Apple was spent at Eleven Madison Park which holds 3 Michelin stars and is rated the 4th best restaurant in the world by San Pellegrino.

We arrived early and were led to the bar to enjoy some cocktails as the team briefing with a huge brigade was held on the dining floor. The restaurant is set in an impressive art deco building with a high gold leaf ceiling.
A long tasting menu at $225 per head is served for lunch and dinner service alongside a limited menu in the bar area. The meal began with a small envelope containing a card with four choices, coffee, celery, cherry and strawberry. We were asked to pick one each and the choice would feature in some of the dishes during our meal, we chose cherry and strawberry. Our meal consisted of the following dishes:

Cheddar – savoury black and white cookie with apple.
Oyster – baked potato ice cream and caviar.
Melon – salad with cucumber and lemon verbena.
Tomato – two parts, first with tea and thyme and second as a salad with lobster & garlic. The second part of the tomato with lobster was a knockout, simple but one of the dishes of the year.
Beef – pastrami with peppers, rye, mustard and cherry/strawberry soda. A story accompanied this dish and it paid homage to the deli’s of New York. 
Foie gras – seared with chanterelles and plums.
Apple – Waldorf salad with celery, walnuts and grapes. This was prepared at the table alongside a story of the history of the Waldorf salad. By this point Mrs Nom was rather merry and commented that the apples were extremely shiny, they were normal. This course I felt was a bit gimmicky and normal compared to what came before but the interaction was welcomed.
Halibut – slow roasted with pickled daikon and radishes.
Sunflower – braised with sunchokes and sunflower seeds.
Duck – roasted with peaches and fennel. A whole roasted duck with lavender was presented to us at the table before carving for serving. Another star dish.
Fresh cheese – pretzel, parsley and tomolives. A DIY course presented in a picnic basket with a bottle of brown ale.
Whey – sorbet with caramelised milk and milk foam.
Almond – baked Alaska with rum, caramel and cherry/strawberry. This was set alight at the table and was the pick of the dessert courses.
Pretzel - chocolate covered with sea salt.
Chocolate – sweet black and white cookie with raspberry ganache – aesthetically the same as the first cookie but a sweet version.

We were left with a bottle of apple brandy to end the meal and told to drink as much as we wanted. Prior to the meal we were discussing how much we could drink, in the end I struggled with one small glass due to its strength!
The standout courses were the lobster filled tomato, roasted duck and baked Alaska. Some weaker courses including the Waldorf salad and the picnic but with any extended tasting meal not all dishes will be equally enjoyed by everyone but the quality of the ingredients and cooking was first class.

Service was slick with well-versed staff as expected in a 3 star establishment. There was a lot of interaction and conversation which was probably led from the top as Chef Proprietor Daniel Humm made his way around the tables conversing with diners. He even gave us some recommendations for lunch the next day. 

Eleven Madison Park on Urbanspoon

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