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donbert

Eleven Madison Park

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I've seen rare or high quality teas being offered for as much a pot in restaurants in China. Why not, if the quality is excellent, and it's what the patron wants to drink? My question is - aside from the table-side jazzy gimmickry of the Siphon/Chemex - what kind of coffee will they be using?

And will they also have espresso-type or individual coffees for people looking for a cheaper cup?

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I have been eagerly looking forward to my dinner at the “new” EMP, and it’s better than ever!—not than it needed any improvement. I think a number of our fellow Hounds have been nervous about changes in an already great restaurant. Please rest assured that if you love/like EMP, you’ll love it better now. If you haven’t been a fan, you should visit the restaurant now, and you will become a fan—a big fan of the restaurant.

From the first welcome at the door—and yes, it does feel like you’re entering a friend’s home—service is flawless. The warmth, professionalism and attentiveness are without equal. The food, while previously always delicious, is somehow even more creative. The parade of amuses is exquisite. The chefs bringing these out seem so pleased to meet their guests and happy to talk about the preparations. I lost count, but they’re all winners.

We chose the 5 course menu. We certainly had a “dialogue” with our captain, Alexandra, about all of the dishes. She was wonderful about explaining all of the various components of the dishes. I guess in retrospect, I always have a dialogue with the staff at any restaurant to find out more about any dish that I’m interested in. Doesn’t matter to me whether it’s a one word description or ten, I’ll still ask for more detail (especially when I’m choosing the dish).

I chose the crab, potato, lobster, beef and apple, and they were all winners. My sister had the beet, crab, potato, chicken and apple, and loved all of her dishes too. I won’t spoil the surprise for anyone interested, also because the preparations change more frequently. I’m returning to EMP in three weeks for my sister’s birthday celebration, and I know that while the key ingredient may remain the same, the preparations will have changed.

As others have previously described, we were given a tour of the kitchen by Dining Room Manager, Daniel, as well as a comprehensive explanation about the new coffee service. We had a specially created dessert in the kitchen—it was delicious! During the tour of the kitchen, we had an opportunity to say hello to both Chef Humm, and General Manager, Will Guidara; both were genuinely interested in how we were enjoying our dinner.

We had the expert guidance of EMP’s wine director, John Ragan, in the selection of the perfect Riesling. It was a “yummy” wine.

As we were leaving, we received—as other have already described-- a container of granola as a gift. Can’t wait until breakfast

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It takes chutzpah to look down upon your betters. I had plenty of time to reflect on this wisdom as I languished through another expensive, mediocre, and disappointed meal at EMP (to be fair, my dining companion, an experienced dinner and frequent contributor to this forum, enjoyed his meal much more than I). Once again i found the food to be uninspired and the service less than what I would expect at a 4 star restaurant. They were too many misses among the canapes. My first course showcased perfectly cooked langoustines ruined by an awful sauce. My second savory course, the sole, couldn't compare to the wonderful dish i had last year (the only course of the gourmand that i thought worthy of 4 stars) nor to the superb sole dish I had at Per Se just days later. The venison that followed was easily the best course of the evening. My last savory dish, the muscovy duck, was good but was not the best duck dish ever as described by the captain. (can a dish be considered a "signature dish" if it so closely mirrors that of many other chefs?). Once again, the pastry kitchen proved why it is the weakest of any fine dining restaurant in the city. The pre-desert malted mild sorbet was too salty, the chocolate grenache was terrible , and the post desert treats were vile, especially the black truffle infused chocolate truffle.

Once again, the service was mediocre. I received barely a hello from the hostess upon arrival; the bartender did not say thank you when I paid my tab, the captain was terse when she described the menu, and i was ignored by the sommelier who spent the entire meal conversing with my friend. Not once did he attempt to engage me in conversation. It was indeed a pleasure interacting with the chefs as the canapes were presented.

I thought my meal was good, definitely not 4 star. I am shocked that EMP is ranked as the world's 50 best restaurant on the world's best list; Higher than Jean Georges, Michel Bras, and Louis XV. No way. Last week, I also ate at LIncoln, Per Se, the Modern, and Jean Georges. EMP, by a good margin, definitely came in last.

As if left, I thought of another quote, "three strikes and your out"


Edited by sethd (log)

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and i was ignored by the sommelier who spent the entire meal conversing with my friend. Not once did he attempt to engage me in conversation.

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Yes! The somm remembered my friend from a prior meal. Gave him a big hello and had a running discussion with him about his cocktail selections throughout the entire meal. Though, I ordered a half bottle of champagne and then a glass of red wine(ordered through my captain) the somm NEVER engaged me in conversation. Much the same lack of interest shown me during my preceding two meals there as well.

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so, SethD... what, out of your last week's meals, ranked the highest?

Per Se is always awesome: the best in the city!!

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But I don't have reservations! Haha. I'm coming in a couple weeks and although I would love to experience it, didn't even know I was coming two months to the calendar date of my trip haha.

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keep checking opentable and hitting the "next available" link when it says nothing found. Sometimes things open up closer to the date.

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I've seen reservations for Per Se become available on OpenTable at the last minute (last minute cancellations). Always tempted, but not dressed up enough to go.

BTW, I just checked OpenTable (for the fun of it), and there is a 5:30 reservation available tonight for 2 or 4. Darn, I wished I had dressed up today.

Sorry, the reservation for today is gone, but there is a lot of availability for tables for 4 during the next several weeks (nothing on Fridays or Saturdays though).


Edited by ellenost (log)

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so, SethD... what, out of your last week's meals, ranked the highest?

Per Se is always awesome: the best in the city!!

:wub:

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New York is blessed with so many restaurants to choose from. I usually will visit all kinds, from the like of per se/Jean Georges to as simple as shake-shack/a K-town restaurants. In those visits a couple of years ago, I also had a chance to visit Eleven Madison Park (EMP) – my friends and I would like to visit a creative place and we decided to come to EMP over WD-50 since we thought that EMP is more ‘stable and consistent’

Food (and wine) – 91/100

The food was indeed creative and many dishes were prepared in creative plating. But the problem was that a few of the dishes are good such as the smooth smoked sturgeon sabayon with chives was nicely seasoned; the poached lobster was tasty, I especially liked the strong citrus sabayon and the crunchy granola. However, the rests were only so-so. For instance, the slow cooked turbot was quite tasteless (even the ‘soup’ did not help that much); I was excited with my suckling pig knowing that Chef Humm is a master of pig cooker, alas it did not live up to expectation. The pork, possibly cooked sous-vide, hardly generate any flavor – it all depended on a little sauce on the side, the Oregon morels did not help either. The pre-dessert of strawberry-cheesecake in liquid form was not bad, while the main dessert (chocolate tart) itself was mediocre, but the several flavors of macaroons as mignardises were flavorful.

I was considered myself lucky to order the “Taste of Spring” with many variations; whereas my friend who ordered “Four Story Pork” degustation menu was rather disappointed because most dishes were somewhat similar in preparation and taste, only the sides were different. How’s it? Not so much different from my pork main course generally. Chef Humm certainly has great potential and was willing to push himself to the limit; hence foodies will not get bored when dining there. Unfortunately, it’s been consistent yet especially in the main courses. To me, I prefer if he simplifies his cooking and focus more on creating delicious food. I enjoyed my red Burgundy – 2006 Savigny-les-Beaune, it’s firm yet smooth with a vivid raspberry and minerality. Despite some inconsistency, I would say the food is worth 91 pts (2*)

Service (and ambiance) – 93/100

The service was friendly and pleasant. The staffs worked hard to please their customers, sometimes it didn’t look too natural, and the effort was still appreciated though. United States is blessed with plenty of lands and the dining room at EMP showed that. The ceiling was ‘skyscraper-high’, it has lofty flowers and topiary (the flowers were as big as the ones I saw at Le Louis XV, but not as beautiful). I don’t usually disagree with Michelin ratings very often, in particular for the top 2 categories. But this time, I think EMP deserves more than 1-star, at least 1.5* - perhaps when Chef Humm produced delicious dishes more consistently, the 2nd star should come in 1-2 years time. My overall experience score was 91.5 (a low 2*)

Here are the pictures: EMP spring

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Dining there on the 20th which is between the Alinea collaboration and the switch to the new dining format. I hope they are going to be able to deliver.

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I believe the new format begins today. They have been closed for the past week doing renovations.

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I'm very excited about going to EMP for dinner this saturday.  I have seen the video of them using hot tongs to open wine bottles on youtube and I was wondering if they do this for all wine bottles ordered or just special bottles.  Thanks

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I'm very excited about going to EMP for dinner this saturday.  I have seen the video of them using hot tongs to open wine bottles on youtube and I was wondering if they do this for all wine bottles ordered or just special bottles.  Thanks

It looks like you'll have to ask them, and let us know. Have fun!

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