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Eleven Madison Park


donbert
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No contest; you should wait for dinner on a future visit. The brunch there (so I'm told) bears no relationship to the regular service, which I've had probably 20+ times since Humm arrived.

FG---I think your observations and comments are spot on, and I couldn't agree more. Humm, IMHO, is one of the most talented chefs in NY right now, and perhaps the most talented in his age group. The cuisine is still being fine tuned, but is nevertheless tremendous. The service, while very good, is still not at a level to mirror the excellence of the food. You nailed that. But I think they know that and are trying to better it.

By the way...I think the need a cheese cart. Also, I think in the future they'd like to carve some of the things (such as the duck) tableside...that would be really nice.

A great review FG!

Edited by DutchMuse (log)
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I can't for the life of me understand all the griping about the room. What more could one ask for? To me it's one of the most beautiful restaurant spaces in the country, it now looks better than ever without the intrusive hoops around the original chandeliers, and I don't find the size bothersome -- I don't even find it relevant. I think it's great that the restaurant now has a chef who has the talent to equal the room. When it comes time to write the history of Eleven Madison Park, I hope it will be the story of this wonderful room becoming, in every way, the restaurant it deserves to be.

The room is great: nearly perfect proportions, and nicely broken up in a way that makes good use of the volume, rather than coming across as a disguise for a warehouse. My only complaint, and it's a small one, is that if you're facing the kitchen (I was), the opening and closing doors create a bit of a flashbulb effect. I thought I would get used to it, but we had an early reservation, and as the place got busier, the flashing just got more intrusive. (I'm guessing that only about four seats in the whole place are subjected to this effect.)

That said, I think we're still midstream in terms of the development of Eleven Madison Park under Daniel Humm (pronounced "whom," by the way). There's no question in my mind that the cuisine at Eleven Madison Park is vastly improved (which is not to say I don't miss the pea flan and a few other dishes). There's also no question in my mind that Humm is a talented perfectionist with a broad command of contemporary culinary techniques and a nuanced sensibility when it comes to flavors. He has done so much with the restaurant and the menu, the primary focus should be on his accomplishments.

The secondary focus should be, I think, on what remains to be done.

I can't comment on the development of the restaurant; this was my first visit (I wish I'd had a chance to try the pea flan). I agree with Steven that Chef Humm is extrememly talented. What still sticks in my mind is a tiny carrot-shaped package of sweetbreads wrapped in something like a wonton skin (it had a phyllo-like texture, but I'm pretty sure you can't manipulate phyllo the way this was). It was a perfect little capsule that demonstrated sophisticated and accomplished mastery of flavor, texture and technique.

First, an excellent pastry program is an absolute necessity -- and right now it simply falls short. Nicole Kaplan's wonderful desserts were probably not appropriate for the new Eleven Madison Park, however the restaurant needs to find someone of her caliber who does pastry in a style compatible with Daniel Humm's. That, or the current pastry chef needs to ramp it up quite a bit -- certainly there were enough excellent components scattered among the four desserts we tried to indicate that there is talent in the pastry kitchen, but it needs to be focused. The restaurant would be wise not to be lulled into a false sense of security by its now-prix-fixe formula. With dessert included in the menu price, there's no immediate market-based feedback, however I doubt many people would be ordering dessert at Eleven Madison Park at, say, $16 per dessert right now if given an a la carte choice. Dessert is the grand finale of the meal. If it's not great, too many people will walk away with a negative impression. Currently, it's not great. A more serious cheese program would also be appropriate for the new Eleven Madison Park.
Of the four desserts at the table, I thought only one would be worth $16, but that brings up something I found odd about the whole dessert menu. Based on the description of this particular dish (Chocolate Peanut Tart with Peanut Butter Caramel and Brandied Cherry Chip Ice Cream), I wouldn't have ordered it. When it arrived, it wasn't even remotely tart-like; it was constructed as a candy bar. Likewise, the "'Exotique' Almond Bisquit with Ivoire Chocolate and Exotic Fruit" was a nearly complete mismatch for what came out on the plate -- an almost incomprehensible assembly that was almost impossible to eat in a way that did justice to what seemed to be excellent ingredients and skillful preparation. The mignardises were, um, disappointing.
. . . . I hope Daniel Humm will start giving more thought to the notion of a unique selling proposition. Right now he's demonstrating a range of virtuoso talents. I'm convinced that Daniel Humm can cook everything, that he is a master of every technique. But to what end? I think the approach could use some editing. Because right now, I'm not really sure how I'd describe the food at Eleven Madison Park without resorting to a dish-by-dish description. And as good as I think just about every dish is (or at least the nine menu items and assorted amuses I've tried), in the end I want to go to restaurants that distinguish themselves -- that offer me a package I can't get elsewhere.
Dead-nuts on.

Dave Scantland
Executive director
dscantland@eGstaff.org
eG Ethics signatory

Eat more chicken skin.

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No contest; you should wait for dinner on a future visit. The brunch there (so I'm told) bears no relationship to the regular service, which I've had probably 20+ times since Humm arrived.

Thanks for the advice, DutchMuse!

Si

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...

There are those times in one's life when you're certain you've been lucky enough to be at the right place at the right time. One evening last week at Eleven Madison Park was one of those moments for me.

After a pretty grueling and somewhat underwhelming round of restaurant visits, I feared that EMP would become a casualty of dining fatigue. Quite to the contrary, Daniel Humm's Gormande menu, in its newest incarnation, had me doing cartwheels out of the restaurant at 1AM, when I finally left.

This was a very special dinner for me as I was re-uniting with my old college roommate, whom I had not seen in a couple of years. He's one of those bi-continental types, and had just flown in from Paris to meet me. We both ordered the Gormande tasting menu with the wine pairings.

Short of cutting and pasting all of my tasting notes here from my flickr account (they are voluminous), I've simply re-typed the menu with links to my flickr account where you can see and read about each dish. If you want to be really lazy, you can just sit back and watch the slideshow here (and click on any of the pictures to pause the show and read the notes).

Hors d'oeurvres

Maine Diver Scallops

Corolle with "La Ratte" Potatoes, Leeks and Sterling Royal Caviar

Dewazakura, Dewansansan Nama Genshu, Junmai Ginjo, Yamagata Prefecture, Japan

California Celery

Cappucino with celery root and Tricastan truffles

Claude Genet Blanc de Blancs, Grand Cru, Chouilly, Cote des Blancs NV

Cape Cod Bay Peekytoe Crab

Cannelloni with daikon radish and Madras curry

2005 Bernhard Ott, von Rotem Schotter, Feurersbrunn, Donauldland, Austria

"Elevages Perigord" Foie Gras

Torchon with Venezuelan Cocao and Quince

2005 Heidi Schrock Beerenauslese, Burgenland, Austria

Mediterranean Loup de Mer

Slow Cooked with Saffron Endive Nage

2005 Domaine Pierre Usseglio, Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Rhone Valley, France

Nova Scotia Lobster

Veloute with Lemon Verbena and Violet Artichokes

2005 Barrere, Clos de la Vierge Sec, Jurancon, Southwest France

Four Story Hill "Boudin Blanc"

Poached with Hawaiian Prawns, Morels and Asparagus

2005 Hubert Chavy Pouligny-Montrachet

Vermont Suckling Pig

Confit with Cipollini Onions, Dried Plum Chutney and Five Spice Jus

2000 Domaine de la Cote de l'Ange

Lynnhaven "Chevre Fraiche"

Heirloom Beets, Laudemio Olive Oil, and Fleur de Sel

2004 Jermann, Vinnae, Venezia Giulia

Blood Orange

Sorbet with Satsuma Tangerines and Star Anise

Bittersweet Chocolate

Moelleux with Passion Fruit Bourbon Sour

2001 Kiralyudvar, Cuvee Ilona

Mignardises

Every single food item was impeccably cooked, prepared, seasoned, plated, and presented. Except the macarons (both the truffled foie gras macaron with the hors d'oeurvres and the pistachio macaron with the mignardises), which were soggy (n.b. it was a rainy day), everything edible was technically flawless.

But, beyond technical mastery, I found Humm's cooking to be tremendously thoughtful and resourceful. Through this Gormande menu, he demonstrated a command of a wide range of cooking techniques, mastery across a wide range of foods, and proficiency in multi-cultural cuisine.

Everything, whether an age-old Indian Madras and cocout curry-informed course of sweet peekytoe rolled in a transcluscent cigar of daikon radish to a traditional or humble Anglo-French boudin blanc with first-of-the-season morels, came out with a renewed sense of energy and excitement. Foie gras comes gorgeoulsy marbled and veined with Venezuelan cocoa and served with toasted brioche swirled with that same cocao and instead of a traditional cut of cheese plated on some obligatory microgreens drizzled with some fruity gastrique, Humm's cheese course was a refreshingly different and free-formed riff - a goat cheese mousse served with a good dose of extremely fruity Laudemio olive oil and bijoux slices of beets.

What truly elevated this meal for me - beyond the wonderful food, was the wine pairings. Being a neophyte to wine, there were several points throughout the meal where I had that "aha!" moment that I have been waiting for all of my (very short) drinking career. FWIW, I think John Ragan, the wine director, is an extremely thoughtful and playful sommelier. It took me until the third course to discover the "madness to his method," so to speak. While I tried unsuccessfully in the first two courses to compromise the wine with the "star" item for the course, in the third course - the foie, I finally discovered that the wines were paired with some off-key ingredient or accompaniment (with the foie, the wine especially highlighted the cocoa). After that, it became a fun cat-and-mouse game for me to find which element(s) on the plate the wine was meant to bring out. For the loup de mer, the pairing struck a special cord with the strands of fried ginger on top, for the suckling pig course, the pairing achieved nirvana with the five spice roasted cipollini. Of course, I realize the effect of each wine might be different for each person, but it was really neat how "locked in" dead sure I was when I found the matching ingredient - those specific food and the wine combinations confidentantly set off matrimonial bells and whistles.

The only two courses that I found predictable - your standard-issue fine dining courses - were the first and the last. First course always involves some kind of white vegetable/root vegetable cream with caviar. While I've encountered celery root mousses, cauliflower panna cottas, and turnip cream, Humm is the first to introduce to my repertoire a "La Ratte" potato cream - served predictably with rendered leeks and a quenelle of caviar.

The last course, almost begrudgingly, featured a chocolate moelleux - aka the seemingly obligatory chocolate molten cake. I think this was my fourth, but certainly not the least, one for the week. It was also slightly distinguished from the "standard-issue" by being bittersweet instead of bitter dark - which was to my dark chocolate-loving dismay.

I know that desserts at EMP have been the center of much discussion and the object of some finger-wagging. The post immediately prior to mine announces the arrival of a new pastry chef. I didn't catch his name either. And, because I ordered the Gormande, I didn't get to choose my dessert nor see his dessert menu. However, if the dessert on the Gormande is any reflection of his work, I'd say that he has just a bit to go to match the creativity and wit of Humm. That being said, I thought the passion fruit bourbin sour portion of the dessert was pretty damned smart. Also, our pre-dessert is probably the most memorable I've ever had - a shotglass of blood orange sorbet, vanilla ice cream, tangerine wedges and cleverly embedded sticks of baked meringue - sweet, sour, fruity, tart, creamy and crunchy - it was very enjoyable.

Where EMP might lose points is in the service. I cannot complain about the service we received. We were treated like princes from the greeting to the tip. Courses were evenly paced, the service was cordial, polite, informative (although a few times, the server had to stand corrected as a few items were mis-presented) and patient - if not pushing the cordial point a little too much. I don't need a "bon appetite" before each course (yes, literally). However, apparently, the couple, or rather the gentlemen of that couple, sitting next to us did require such attention. He wasn't getting it.

It was plainly obvious to both him and me that my friend and I were getting the attention he so craved and that I really didn't care for. Ironic, really. I got the impression (and this is my perception) that he was of the dining-out-to-be-coddled crowd. Imagine - two twenty-something year-olds stealing thunder from a man twice our age with probably one-hundred times the net worth of my friend and me combined. Truth be told, I noticed a couple of occasions where his dinner was mishandled. After their desserts were cleared, the server came around again with the dessert menu - and just short of presenting them for the second time, said aloud, "Oh, I'm terribly sorry, we've already done this here, haven't we?" The man did not look amused. And, it shouldn't have happened. His wife, all the meanwhile, yapped on and on - a headless well-spring of gushes and fluorishes about the meal, which only irked her husband more.

Chef Humm did come out of the kitchen at one point to make the rounds. Towering over our table, he was certainly one of the most humble-seeming people I've ever met - very soft-spoken and unassuming.

The dining room truly is as classy and grand as everyone says. I loved the space - airy, bright with huge windows looking out over Madison Park. The one thing that I found anomolous was the larger-than-life red lighted "EXIT" sign above the main door. I commented to my friend that, God forbid, if the room should fill with smoke, we would not be in want of directions out.

I am so thrilled that I chose to visit EMP. Thanks to everyone who recommended the restaurant and urged me to go. I'm sure I will return.

Although I have been, and remain, a devotee of Chef Elliot Bowles (of the Avenues), I have to say that Humm is definitely a very strong nominee for the upcoming James Beard Rising Star award. I wish all the nominees the best of luck. Now I know at least two of them are truly worthy. I'll have to catch Chang on another visit.

P.S. Short of picking a scab, Nathan, I want to let you know that I had you in mind. As I left the restaurant, I inquired as to whether the tasting could be ordered at the bar. The answer was no. I asked why. The response (which I found rather weak) was that they had ceased offering the tasting at the bar because some of the plates were irregularly-sized (indeed, some, like the peekytoe crab dish were rather long) and made for difficult bar eating. This didn't make sense to me as I saw a number of plates from the prix fixe menu that were also irregularly shaped/sized. I then asked whether, on a very slow night, when the bar was empty, one could order the tasting. She seemed hesitant to answer - she maintained that the policy of the restaurant was that the tasting could not be ordered at the bar... but after a pause, said that I would certainly be welcomed to ask the management.

Edited by ulterior epicure (log)

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

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ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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That sounds friggin' phenomenal.  Thanks for the beautiful pics and detailed insight as always, U.E.  Why have I not yet tried this place under Humm?!  I need to get moving...

Maybe 'cause you were wasting too much time over at Robuchon's. :raz::wink:

Oh, one more thing I forgot to add:

BryanZ and Fat Guy had highly recommended the Four Story Hill Poularde. Well, it wasn't on the Gormande (subbed out for the Boudin Blanc) this time, so I inquired whether the chef would be willing to augment our Gormande and add it in as a supplement (I wasn't willing to give up the Boudin Blanc). The server, at first, seemed hesitant, mumbling somthing to the effect of, "the chef doesn't like to do substitutions..." - but I wasn't asking for a substitution. When I clarified this point, he said he would check with the kitchen.

He returned with a big smile and announced that the chef would be willing to give us a tasting portion of the poularde - for an additional $30 per person. After a huddle with my friend, we decided to forego the poularde. Does this seem like a steep upcharge to anyone? We thought it was - we couldn't decide if this price was (a) a way to dissuade us from ordering the supplement, which might be disruptive the kitchen/service - in essence, a extra service charge, or (b) because the poularde was not readily portioned out for a tasting and so an entire poulard course would have to be sacrificed for each of us (which doesn't seem to make much sense becuase it had previously been offered as a Gormande item), or © a way to get more money out of two seemingly filthy-rich fellahs (which I find highly absurd and comical and clearly a poor judge of worth on the part of our server), or (d) a combination of any of the above.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Dude, you're 20? This much I did not know. If that much is true and you were served wine...tisk...tisk. I think the SLA needs to be alerted.

In regards to older people feeling intimidated by younger people. Yeah, it happens, they're douches and insecure.

I needed a freshman year roommate who'll fly across the Atlantic to eat with me.

Seriously, however, the $30 does seem high. The reasons could've been any or a combination of those you mentioned.

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Rockin' report there, UE. I've now shuffled my dinner plans in NY to include dinner at EMP on my birthday at the end of April. Sounds like I won't be disappointed!

One problem, both Hazel and myself hate celery with all of our beings. It's the one and only thing we'll say we don't eat if consulted prior to a surprise menu. I wonder how we'll feel about it when coupled with truffle and quail egg? If I'm ever going to enjoy celery, it will be in this dish!

Si

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Dude, you're 20?  This much I did not know.  If that much is true and you were served wine...tisk...tisk.  I think the SLA needs to be alerted.

In regards to older people feeling intimidated by younger people.  Yeah, it happens, they're douches and insecure.

I needed a freshman year roommate who'll fly across the Atlantic to eat with me.

Seriously, however, the $30 does seem high.  The reasons could've been any or a combination of those you mentioned.

Wow - BryanZ, good catch. I don't want anyone EMP to get in trouble - this was all a part of the celebration for my 29th birthday!! I should have written, twenty-something year-olds. I'll go back and change it. Thanks for catching that!

u.e.

Edited by ulterior epicure (log)

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Rockin' report there, UE. I've now shuffled my dinner plans in NY to include dinner at EMP on my birthday at the end of April. Sounds like I won't be disappointed!

One problem, both Hazel and myself hate celery with all of our beings. It's the one and only thing we'll say we don't eat if consulted prior to a surprise menu. I wonder how we'll feel about it when coupled with truffle and quail egg? If I'm ever going to enjoy celery, it will be in this dish!

Si

Simon,

I'm sure that they would substitute something out if you both opt for it and ask kindly. Be warned, this dish is all about the celery - as I wrote in my notes for the California Celery course, this was very intensely celery in flavor:

"This cappucino made me realized how closely aligned celery and truffles can be in flavor. There's a similar leather-earthiness to both that was magnified exponentially when eaten together. "

To be honest, this was probably the least compelling dish to me in terms of pleasantness - this course was much more about opening up my mind to new combinations and a new way of approaching food - especially a humble plant such as celery. Humm uses both the root (a creamy puree) and the stalk (gelee) - makes it silky with the quail egg and knocks it out of the park with those concentrated cubes of black truffles. I must say that the Tricastan truffles, perhaps because of the terroir, had a particularly "leathery" and "vegetal" quality that other truffles aren't as intense on - they taste similar to some truffles from the Himalayans, which are usually less valued. Where as I would say that Perigord black and certainly Alba white truffles have a pleasing savory, garlicky pungence, these were definitely more shroomy and leathery.

The wine really helped pull the taste of the truffles out - if it's a flavor you like, it'll last quite a while on your palate.

Happy birthday in advance! I had a great celebration there myself this year!

Cheers.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Thanks for the description. We'll ask about the possibility of swapping out that course (assuming it's still on the menu when we get there) but if it's not possible I won't sweat it. I'm always game for trying something new, and if I find it unpleasant I'll just have to rinse my mouth out with wine. :biggrin:

Si

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Thanks for the description. We'll ask about the possibility of swapping out that course (assuming it's still on the menu when we get there) but if it's not possible I won't sweat it. I'm always game for trying something new, and if I find it unpleasant I'll just have to rinse my mouth out with wine. :biggrin:

Si

Gosh, I dunno Si, it's a big ask. I'll never forget the celery experience in Alinea....

(Madras curry ball filled with liquid celery in pear juice. Ball burst in mouth. Mouth nearly ejected the course)

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Thanks for the description. We'll ask about the possibility of swapping out that course (assuming it's still on the menu when we get there) but if it's not possible I won't sweat it. I'm always game for trying something new, and if I find it unpleasant I'll just have to rinse my mouth out with wine. :biggrin:

Si

Gosh, I dunno Si, it's a big ask. I'll never forget the celery experience in Alinea....

(Madras curry ball filled with liquid celery in pear juice. Ball burst in mouth. Mouth nearly ejected the course)

I think I would have enjoyed Achatz's frozen celery ball a lot more had I not nearly choked on it - the curved shotglass distorted the size of the ball and - well, it wasn't a pretty sight for a few seconds. I did like that celery flavor however - but it was very different from Humm's. Achatz's was slightly sweet and spicy from the curry (not heat, just spice), but Humm's is all earthy and savory.

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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f_____!  I really might just have to swallow my pride and actually eat there now.
:wink:
btw, u.e., have you written up Alinea anywhere?  I'm curious what you thought.  It was the best meal of my life.

Nathan, I have eaten at Alinea twice - I made a (very) brief post about my last visit here. Upthread, I did post about my first visit, circa July/August, 2005, but I don't have the time to locate that right now.

The most detailed commentary you're going to get is on my flickr.

Click to see/read about my first meal.

Click here to see/read about my first meal.

Personally, and I say this throughout my many posts on the Alinea thread is that I walked away from Alinea, both times, underwhelmed. I know that I am in the very small minority of people who just simply cannot gush about Achatz's food.

But, you must understand that I have a rather short limit for theatrics and pyrotechnics, and am much more focused on the the actual taste and gustatory satisfaction role that food plays in a dining experience. This is not to say that Alinea is all show and no substance. This is also not to say that some of the food tasted very good there. However, for me, Alinea lacked a sensible balance between creativity, analysis, science, and just plain damned good eating. Both of my 5+ hour meals were technically flawless (except for the service, which I have criticized on both occasions), but short of completely lacking soul (which it didn't, completely), were much more cerebral exercises than dining experiences - if that makes any sense.

Back to Humm: my (one) meal at Eleven Madison Park walked that thin line and struck that perfect balance - there was thought, there was soul, there was creativity, there was bravado, aesthetics played out nicely - both in flavor and visual presentation, service was great, wine pairings were clever (granted, this is one element that was missing in my Alinea experiences), and most importantly - Humm's food was accessible to me as a diner, both on an intellectual level and on the primal human-needs-good-food level. Achatz and Alinea didn't do that for me. Dufresne and WD~50 didn't either, nor Keller at either per se or TFL, nor Robuchon at L'Atelier NYC. Few chefs and restaurants have. Humm and EMP under his stewardship did.

Swallow your pride, Nathan. I think you'll be thanking yourself for it. :wink:

Edited by ulterior epicure (log)

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Why have I not yet tried this place under Humm?!  I need to get moving...

Maybe 'cause you were wasting too much time over at Robuchon's. :raz::wink:

Hey man. I had some phenomenal meals at JRo. So back off! :raz: Heheh.

Seriously, though, I feel like L'Atelier recently became a bit... boring and complacent. Is it possible for a restaurant this young to be complacent already? :blink: Guess part of that is due to it being a chain restaurant. High-end or not, a chain restaurant just operates on a formula.

Nonetheless, EMP was already #1 on my never-ending NYC restaurant list, and your review has firmly cemented it there. It's only a matter of time until I make there. Hopefully sooner rather than later!

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Why have I not yet tried this place under Humm?!  I need to get moving...

Maybe 'cause you were wasting too much time over at Robuchon's. :raz::wink:

Hey man. I had some phenomenal meals at JRo. So back off! :raz: Heheh.

Seriously, though, I feel like L'Atelier recently became a bit... boring and complacent. Is it possible for a restaurant this young to be complacent already? :blink: Guess part of that is due to it being a chain restaurant. High-end or not, a chain restaurant just operates on a formula.

Nonetheless, EMP was already #1 on my never-ending NYC restaurant list, and your review has firmly cemented it there. It's only a matter of time until I make there. Hopefully sooner rather than later!

"JRo?" :laugh: Jennifer Lopez had best watch her (very well-endowed) back!

“Watermelon - it’s a good fruit. You eat, you drink, you wash your face.”

Italian tenor Enrico Caruso (1873-1921)

ulteriorepicure.com

My flickr account

ulteriorepicure@gmail.com

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Why have I not yet tried this place under Humm?!  I need to get moving...

Maybe 'cause you were wasting too much time over at Robuchon's. :raz::wink:

Hey man. I had some phenomenal meals at JRo. So back off! :raz: Heheh.

Seriously, though, I feel like L'Atelier recently became a bit... boring and complacent. Is it possible for a restaurant this young to be complacent already? :blink: Guess part of that is due to it being a chain restaurant. High-end or not, a chain restaurant just operates on a formula.

Nonetheless, EMP was already #1 on my never-ending NYC restaurant list, and your review has firmly cemented it there. It's only a matter of time until I make there. Hopefully sooner rather than later!

haha

i always thought "j ro" was jancis robinson, woman master of wine

lol

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i always thought "j ro" was jancis robinson, woman master of wine

lol

The original "j ro" was Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson. To ever forget that is a crime against the fabulous history of the United States and its National Pastime. Be careful where you tread - some things are above reproach.

There is a reason why #42 will never be worn by another professional baseball player once NY Yankee future Hall of Fame reliever Mariano Rivera retires. Please don't make light of this incredible and courageous historic figure.

To forget the past is to relive its sins.

Edited by rich (log)

Rich Schulhoff

Opinions are like friends, everyone has some but what matters is how you respect them!

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  • 4 weeks later...

According to New York Magazine's Grub Street blog today, Eleven Madison Park has removed pastry chef Richard Bies, who was apparently there on a trial basis. Daniel Humm is said to be the chief pastry executive for now, while they search for a replacement.

This is a good move. While a lot of the hard-core foodie types are willing to overlook bad desserts, to the general fine-dining public a bad dessert means an unmemorable ending. The weakness of its dessert program has been a real albatross for Eleven Madison Park ever since Nicole Kaplan left -- not that her haute-homestyle desserts would have been a good fit for Humm's cuisine anyway. Glad to see EMP taking this step.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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