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donbert

Eleven Madison Park

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I think at the four-star level, to factor in "value" is BULLSHIT.  Four stars should betoken sheer excellence.

I couldn't agree more. And not only for tasting menus, if there are other options.

I don't think "value" should influence the rating at any level. Prices can change in a heartbeat; indeed, there have been several occasions when a restaurant jacked up its prices almost immediately after getting a glowing review from Bruni that complimented the establishment on offering such a great "value."
Don't you think it would be nice if the restaurants awarded four stars were less controversial? Many people object that Daniel doesn't merit four stars. It seems like there's a fair amount of dissent about 11 Madison Park, too. I think that four-star restaurants should be pretty unquestionable, and regardless of who the customer is, whether they're buying wine (let alone expensive wine), and whether they are ordering a prix fixe, a la carte, or a tasting menu.

I don't think that's possible. Every one of the current four-stars, with the possible exception of Masa, has received scathing reviews from people whose opinions I respect. Even the best restaurants disappoint sometimes. The rest of us, unlike Bruni, do not continue to invest in repeat visits to expensive places we don't like. If our first impression is poor, it becomes our lasting impression.
Edited by oakapple (log)

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Well, four stars or no four stars, fact is I'm coming to NY for 2 days only, to eat only, and CAN'T WAIT to go to EMP! It's been way too long... :)


Alexandra Forbes

Brazilian food and travel writer, @aleforbes on Twitter

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Was there Friday, had the Gourmand, and thought the meal was top-notch. Loved a trio of tomatoes. The lamb/sheep cheese tart/bean plate was as near perfect a single plate as it is possible to have. FWIW, I was dining solo and treated wonderfully - neither hurried nor ignored. I put it right there with J-G and Le Bernadin. I haven't been to Per Se, but I don't plan to go because of the price and because of a marginally disappointing dinner at French Laundry - not bad, mind you, but disappointing given the rep and the price. By that standard EMP is also a steal. What's not to like?

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Last Thursday I was in for the Gourmand menu, a send-off sorts for my sister and I. Although it's been said for years now and most recently confirmed by Bruni, this is a restaurant that has continued to improve. It's inspiring to see a restaurant and chef continuously raise their standards, transforming a very good restaurant into an extraordinary one. I've long believed that EMP was one of the top tables in the city and this visit only served to reaffirm my feelings.

With the possible exception of Per Se (and possibly Masa, to which I haven't been), this is the most refined dining experience in the city. I'm still of the opinion that the room, while pretty, is too large but the attentiveness of the staff makes the experience feel more intimate. I think this is an unmitigated success for USHG as an organization, as its people overcome what in the past was a complaint of mine.

It's unusual for me to describe the service first when recounting a meal, but I think it's here where the largest strides have been made. I've loved Chef Humm's food for years and while his is not as modern nor punchy as some of my other favorite chefs, it has and continues to be full of elegance. Again, where the experience of a meal at EMP has most improved is in the intangibles, the china and serviceware, the demeanor and polish of the servers, the fluidity of motion. Again, with the exception of Per Se, this is the extremely rare NYC restaurant in which servers all speak fully intelligible English. If I'm going to be really picky I will say that the uniforms aren't quite as nicely tailored and spotless across the board as they are at Per Se, but not to any detriment and certainly on par with the other four-star restaurants.

I might as well note that some people might find these new service standards a bit stilted. My cocktail was carefully turned and presented such that the mint garnish was centered at 12 o'clock. The servers, as I read in a recent interview, actually do set each charger initially so that the logo is properly oriented. I love this kind of thing, but to some perhaps a bit much. I should note our captain was great, as were the frontwaiters who dropped the food from time to time. Really, excellent service throughout.

Anyway, onto the food. It was a beautifully presented meal, showing the full range of Chef Humm's repertoire. Some new dishes, some variants on items I've had in the past. People have criticized Humm for not evolving his cooking as much as a young chef should, but I'm not sure I agree with this. He clearly has a style and sweet spot all his own, and his version of innovation is more subtle than those chefs that thrive on the cutting edge.

The menu was presented to us after the meal in a little caviar tin. Quite cute-- let's be honest though, I'd rather have more caviar--but difficult to scan or take a picture of. So, I'll type it verbatim along with a picture of each dish because I'm nice like that. These dishes have been reported on in various past posts, but here it is, in full.

Canapes

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They've been doing variants on these for a while now. Always nice. All were excellent.

We then moved to cocktails.

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Some kind of Grand Marnier-grapefruit-sparkling wine thing that was sweet, bitter, and quite nice. Also, my Creole Julep was very delicious and well-made.

It was not long after that when the first course arrived. And so, we were off.

Sterling royal caviar, panna cotta with Columbia River sturgeon

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I thought this dish was just freaking fantastic. While the caviar itself wasn't quite as good as what I'd had at Manresa a few days before, the dish itself was just so luxurious and decadent. A nice layer of caviar, then a whipped layer of what I'm guessing was sturgeon, then a lobster gelee at the bottom. The gelee was so intense and worked wonderfully with the briny caviar. The potato blini were replaced halfway through our enjoyment of the course. Very brioche-at-Per-Se-like. This might have been my favorite dish of the evening.

Heirloom tomatoes, part one

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Twin spherications of mozzarella and tomatoes. I much preferred this combo to the goat cheese/beet they present in the winter. The tomato s'fer was awesome, so intense and pure in flavor.

Heirloom tomatoes, cloud with Terre Bormane olive oil and fino verde basil

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There was more to this dish than just the cloud, but since that's what's listed I'll discuss it first. What the kitchen does is make a tomato-flavored meringue which is then set with gelatin. This cloud is placed above a chilled soup of sorts of super intense grape-sized tomatoes. So clean and refreshing. The rectangular plate showcases a thick slice of beefsteak tomato topped with a thick tomato puree. This was very intense, even meaty, but tasted a bit too much like pizza sauce for me. Tasty but not as good as the other two components. Finally, there was a tomato sorbet topped with a French savory granola. This was my favorite part of the dish. So savory, so full in flavor. Just awesome.

Santa Barbara sea urchin, cappuccino with peekytoe crab and cauliflower

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A beautiful yet stark plate. This dish was another favorite of mine. Essence of ocean with the occasional creamy, earthy hit from the cauliflower puree at the bottom of the dish. This dish might've been served just a touch too cool, something that came up in other dishes. If there were any execution issues with the food, this, though slight, was it.

Foie gras, mille-feuille with Greenmarket plums, umeboshi and bitter almonds

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Such a beautiful plate. There was was sliced plum and pickled plum and plum gelee and pickled onions and almond gel and bitter greens. This, too, was awesome.

Atlantic halibut, seared with sweet corn, summer radishes and purslane

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A wonderful summery fish dish that was at once light yet satisfying. I think Humm's sauce work here was spot-on. He has this thing for subtle curry-like flavors that play well well with seafood. I'm not sure I quite understood the presence of the radish, but I'm a big radish fan, so I enjoyed them. The freeze dried corn was unexpected but totally made the dish. Crunchy bits of texture were strewn throughout.

Nova Scotia lobster, poached with lemon verbena and the flavors or ratatouille

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This dish was old-school, those three quenelles of zucchini, eggplant, and red pepper definitely had a retro quality to them. This dish was completely luxurious and delicious but made less of an impact on me overall. Impeccably prepared, any restaurant would be proud to serve this dish, it just didn't seem quite as fun.

Everglades frogs legs, ragout with black truffles and vin jaune sabayon

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A very, very interesting dish. The earthy truffle notes made for a cool pairing with the green vin jaune that I forever associate with Jean-Georges's Chateau Chalon sauce. The flavor profile here wasn't nearly so round and sweet, definitely tending toward the earthier, even a bit bitter. I totally dug this, but I can't say it would appeal to everyone. Again, this dish was just a couple degrees cooler than I would've liked.

72-hour pork belly, black truffle, smoke

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This dish wasn't listed on the menu, but it seems like they've been trying it out for the past few weeks on people who order the Gourmand. The super earthy, super smoky flavor was, predictably, a home run with me. The black truffle puree reminded me of L'Astrance, but the big hit of woodsmoke--from under the glass cloche and in the meat itself--gave it a solidly American foundation. Loved this dish.

Elysian Fields Farm Lamb, herb roasted with sheep's milk tart, garbanzo beans and bacon

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As fchrisgrimm noted, it's hard not to lust after a plate of food like this. Like French comfort food, retooled and refined. This, like the lobster, had a more retro vibe but was a more successful dish overall. The spherized olives presented tableside added a pleasant briny bitter note to the dish. Not among my favorites of the evening, but I could see how someone with different tastes than mine would see this dish as a triumph of all that is good about contemporary French cooking.

Cheese course

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The cheese cart was presented and we had our waiter made three plates for us. They were delicious, but I will say that the cart at Manresa, though much smaller, had a couple more interesting selections. Nothing to be ashamed of here, though.

"Strawberries & Champagne," strawberry sorbet, lemon gelee and champagne emulsion

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A wonderful pre-dessert that managed to be light yet also bursting with flavor. The champagne was not toned down in the slightest, allowing the yeasty, bubbly notes to play off the sweet, syrupy macerated berries.

Jivara chocolate, moelleux with vanilla, olive oil and cocoa reaspberry sorbet

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I've yet to meet a chocolate dessert that I completely swoon over though this was a very solid effort. Really no complaints at all. The cocoa-raspberry sorbet was the best part, managing to be both fruity and rich all at once.

Summer melons, honey dew, cantaloupe, watermelon and citrus tapioca

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My mother opted out of a chocolate dessert and instead received this. This was a nice take on a fruit dessert and one that avoided the somewhat overdone pairing of tapioca with exotic fruits, instead opting for melons. Very light and refreshing.

Macaroons

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There were many, my favorites were the passion fruit, popcorn, and black sesame.

Besides the cocktails we ordered wines by the glass. Nice selections throughout, but I was particularly impressed by a 1996 nebbiolo. A really interesting choice for a the glass list and I was very glad to have tried it. Besides a couple glasses a completely serviceable (and affordable) glass of banyuls carried me through the sweets.

This was, without any shadow of a doubt, a four-star meal. Certainly among the best meals I've had in this fair city. In fact, all of my lengthy tasting menu meals at EMP are among the best meals I've had in this city. While Humm is not so innovative as Dufrense or Liebrandt and arguably lacks the landmark dishes of Jean-Georges or Ripert, he, as I've written before, occupies this happy middle ground that is fully with merit. Both Will Guidara and Chef Humm stopped by during the course of the evening and couldn't have been nicer. This restaurant is awesome and without a doubt provides one of the great dining experiences this city has to offer.


Edited by BryanZ (log)

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Very nice report. Course for course, that's exactly what I ate as well. I agree with the large tomato slice, it was a little intense and tomato "jar"y. I think I enjoyed the lobster dish more than you did, and enjoyed the halibut a bit less - I felt the sauce should have been considerably tighter, it was really drippy and wet, and the radishes didn't seem to make sense either.

Did you feel awkward at all with the "smoke" dish? At Per Se it's two halves of a globe, so when they remove the top half, the smoke rises from the bottom bowl. At EMP it was just a large bell jar that went to the felt, and all the smoke pretty much remained in there after the server "unveiled" it. Made for an akward moment as the server kind of tried to tilt the jar and get the smoke out, while I tried to lean in to glean some aroma from the smoke.

I was told the middle layer of the caviar dish was a Sturgeon Panna Cotta.

Did you also leave with the sleeve of pates de fruits?

Seeing the legit Julep cup I am kicking myself for not having ordered one, I should have known they do it properly there...

The real question (to me anyways) is how do we know when to go back for a different menu? I don't really have a desire to eat these dishes again, but would go back for a different 11 if it were available.

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Why in the world are they serving cocktails in thin wine glasses? Cocktails are supposed to be kept cold, not quickly relegated to room temp. I don't get it -- am I missing something?

In every fine dining situation where I've been served a cocktail that was based on champagne or sparkling wine, it's been served in a flute. This does rather clash with my experience in finer cocktailing situations where coupes are almost always preferred.


True rye and true bourbon wake delight like any great wine...dignify man as possessing a palate that responds to them and ennoble his soul as shimmering with the response.

DeVoto, The Hour

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I didn't have an issue with the halibut sauce. It was loose nut with all the veg and especially the corn it felt almost like a chowder to me.

I did get the sleeve of sweets. It was nice, but the most noteworthy thing about it was the design of the sleeve itself. A high quality item right there.

I've never Ben VIP'd at Per Se but I don't think there's another restaurant in the city that offers such an extended menu. Perhaps Ko at lunch, which is similar in that you don't know the dishes going in. I think the kitchen here is great but I'm not sure thy can put out as many dishes as Per Se's. Perhaps calling and letting them know might get you new dishes but for a non-regular who knows?

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I've never Ben VIP'd at Per Se but I don't think there's another restaurant in the city that offers such an extended menu. Perhaps Ko at lunch, which is similar in that you don't know the dishes going in. I think the kitchen here is great but I'm not sure thy can put out as many dishes as Per Se's. Perhaps calling and letting them know  might get you new dishes but for a non-regular who knows?

Ko at lunch is a similar number of courses, but not at a similar level of execution. The VIP option at Per Se, from what I've read, can go far beyond this, but it's not listed on the menu. You have to ask for it (or be a VIP, of course). I am reasonably confident that Le Bernardin, Daniel, and Jean Georges have similar offerings for their best customers.

I realize that you can't taste a photo, but as far as presentation goes, there are very few places in the city that can match it.

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Indeed, I do believe that the "other" four stars can put out such a meal, but it's not on offer for those who simply stroll through the door. While I think I dine quite well, I'm not in a position to be a true regular at any of those spots. A visit every six months to EMP is about my peak. With that said, I think that EMP and Per Se are the only restaurants that offer this refined and lengthy a dining experience to the first time diner.

I, too, have only been served sparkling wine cocktails in flutes in restaurants. Indeed, the coupe seems to be more popular in Serious Cocktail Bars, but in restaurants I can see why the flute is seen as more elegant.

Returning to sickchangup's query about the smoke, yeah it was a bit awkward. We rolled with it, but I remarked to my girlfriend (who was not at the meal) about the whole procedure. She quickly pronounced it kind of weird. I guess, to me, being there it wasn't weird--this was not my first smoke-under-cloche presentation--so it to me it wasn't that different from any other tableside presentaion. I could see how the somewhat staged unveiling and wafting might be a bit strange. I don't smoke, so cigars and dishes like this are as close as I'll come. I take what I can get?


Edited by BryanZ (log)

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Indeed, I do believe that the "other" four stars can put out such a meal, but it's not on offer for those who simply stroll through the door. While I think I dine quite well, I'm not in a position to be a true regular at any of those spots. A visit every six months to EMP is about my peak. With that said, I think that EMP and Per Se are the only restaurants that offer this refined and lengthy a dining experience to the first time diner.

It is possible for the first time diner to experience the tasting menus at both Jean Georges and Le Bernardin. In my opinion the experiences at both these restaurants is far superior than that at EMP

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It is possible for the first time diner to experience the tasting menus at both Jean Georges and Le Bernardin. In my opinion the experiences at both these restaurants is far superior than that at EMP

I thought the tasting menu at Le B was indeed superb, but the one at JG was underwhelming. How recently have you tried EMP? Many of the changes reported here are quite recent.
Edited by oakapple (log)

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Indeed, I do believe that the "other" four stars can put out such a meal, but it's not on offer for those who simply stroll through the door.  While I think I dine quite well, I'm not in a position to be a true regular at any of those spots.  A visit every six months to EMP is about my peak.  With that said, I think that EMP and Per Se are the only restaurants that offer this refined and lengthy a dining experience to the first time diner.

It is possible for the first time diner to experience the tasting menus at both Jean Georges and Le Bernardin. In my opinion the experiences at both these restaurants is far superior than that at EMP

Oh surely, but that's not the point I'm making. I think there's a some kind of fundamental divide between your typical 6-8 course tasting menu and those that run over 12-courses*. I think there's a certain intricacy and feeling of luxurious discovery that one gets over so many courses that holds a lot of value for me. In this same vein, EMP seems to offer many of those little extras that are the mark of a true fine-dining experience, i.e., the champagne cart, gougeres, a full round of canapes, a wide selection of macaroons, a high-quality parting gift (no bread or dessert trolley though). The point I was making is that EMP is one of, in my mind, two restaurants that can offer all this to a first-time diner.

I'm not arguing that Per Se can't do better, but this kind of experience is not typical for non-regulars/non-industry. Similarly, I'm not arguing that other restaurants can't offer a similarly luxurious and complete fine-dining meal, they just don't offer it printed on their menus.

*There's something that feels so formulaic about shorter tasting menus. ulteriorepicure has a post about this on his blog that's worth reading if you feel similarly.


Edited by BryanZ (log)

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Oh surely, but that's not the point I'm making.  I think there's a some kind of fundamental divide between your typical 6-8 course tasting menu and those that run over 12-courses*.  I think there's a certain intricacy and feeling of luxurious discovery that one gets over so many courses that holds a lot of value for me.  In this same vein, EMP seems to offer many of those little extras that are the mark of a true fine-dining experience, i.e., the champagne cart, gougeres, a full round of canapes, a wide selection of macaroons, a high-quality parting gift (no bread or dessert trolley though).  The point I was making is that EMP is one of, in my mind, two restaurants that can offer all this to a first-time diner.

I'm not arguing that Per Se can't do better, but this kind of experience is not typical for non-regulars/non-industry.  Similarly, I'm not arguing that other restaurants can't offer a similarly luxurious and complete fine-dining meal, they just don't offer it printed on their menus.

*There's something that feels so formulaic about shorter tasting menus.  ulteriorepicure has a post about this on his blog that's worth reading if you feel similarly.

But I venture that even you, Bryan, would agree that stripping down a meal like the extended VIP at per se or the Eleven at Eleven Madison Park to a series of signs and symbols remains well within the realm of The Formula: "(i.e. the chamnpagne cart, gougeres, a full round of canapes, a wide selection of macarons, ... etc.)." These components do not a four-star make by their mere appearance together in one meal.

For example, I'd venture to say that both Del Posto and Bouley could put out similarly extended luxury. But, given my experiences at those two restaurants (and I was VIP'ed at Del Posto), I can't say that they are four-star establishments. I might even pin Picholine up here as another example where the formula doesn't necessarily compute four stars. I'm sure that others can come up with better examples than I.

Rather, what I think you are saying (and I would agree) is that places like Eleven Madison Park and per se plug in extraordinary symbols, numbers, and factors into The Formula, thereby escaping it in ways that others can't/don't. That's what makes their formula compute four stars.


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)

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Yes, part of me certainly appreciates the fine-dining formula, but I guess I want to see it executed or embraced at the highest level so it doesn't feel tired, amateur, or even formulaic in the derogatory sense of that word. Somewhere like Daniel, a great restaurant to be sure, or any of the restaurants you mention embody luxury and all that but, to me, fall well short of EMP.

In that sense there is something kind of intangible, a four-star feeling of sorts. I think EMP now gives off this feeling. What makes me recommend it so highly goes beyond this, however, in that I think they offer what might be called a VIP-four-star-experience to anyone willing to order the Gourmand menu.

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Yes, part of me certainly appreciates the fine-dining formula, but I guess I want to see it executed or embraced at the highest level so it doesn't feel tired, amateur, or even formulaic in the derogatory sense of that word.  Somewhere like Daniel, a great restaurant to be sure, or any of the restaurants you mention embody luxury and all that but, to me, fall well short of EMP.

To quote Helene Cousins (for those who know her): "Exact-lay!" :wink:

In that sense there is something kind of intangible, a four-star feeling of sorts.  I think EMP now gives off this feeling.  What makes me recommend it so highly goes beyond this, however, in that I think they offer what might be called a VIP-four-star-experience to anyone willing to order the Gourmand menu.

Right, right. I venture that this is the same reason why so many cite Manresa and alinea as two of the other great tables in our country, currently (although I know you might disagree with one of those).

As you know, I have been a big proponent of Eleven Madison Park since I first experienced a meal there in 2007. Though I have only been twice (and once more for desserts), I can't say that I ever put it on the shelf below any of the other four stars. I know many here disagree with me. I don't doubt that Eleven Madison Park has only up'ed their game since Bruni's review. The fact that it is now being put in the category with per se - a restaurant that many feel is at the pinnacle of the four-stars - further convinces me that Eleven Madison Park has been a four star restaurant for some time now, only to have moved up in those ranks. (Even as I type this, I know I will draw fire for that last sentence, so shoot away.)


“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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Great report, Bryan! And thanks for taking pictures - it was hard just explaining the dishes to my SO!

If I can join the fray, while I love Jean-George, I think this is better. While Jean-George offered some landmark dishes, and gave other creative chefs a launching pad for ideas, I appreciate a more subtle approach to (pardon the F word) fusion that other chefs have later taken. After I had Racha Bassoul's cooking at (the late) Anise in Montreal, Jean-George seemed a lot more like Vong.


Edited by fchrisgrimm (log)

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Right, right.  I venture that this is the same reason why so many cite Manresa and alinea as  two of the other great tables in our country, currently (although I know you might disagree with one of those). 

Just so we're clear my recent meal at Manresa was certainly more interesting and eye-opening than my meal here. I, too, think it's one of the best restaurants in the country, just not on the same level as the grand dining temples with regards to room, service polish, and other niceties. I think a Michelin inspector would agree with me here.

I'm not willing to come down on which meal was tastier, though. Both put consistently excellent to extraordinary food on the plate. EMP, however, was certainly the much more refined dining experience across the board. That's no slight to Manresa. At all.

Alinea is, well, Alinea. To me, it hits all the sweet spots and is in a class of its own.

ETA: For the sake of clarity, I was at Manresa for the first time very recently and had a ridiculous meal there. My report is here.


Edited by BryanZ (log)

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Right, right.  I venture that this is the same reason why so many cite Manresa and alinea as  two of the other great tables in our country, currently (although I know you might disagree with one of those). 

Just so we're clear my recent meal at Manresa was certainly more interesting and eye-opening than my meal here. I, too, think it's one of the best restaurants in the country, just not on the same level as the grand dining temples with regards to room, service polish, and other niceties. I think a Michelin inspector would agree with me here.

I'm not willing to come down on which meal was tastier, though. Both put consistently excellent to extraordinary food on the plate. EMP, however, was certainly the much more refined dining experience across the board. That's no slight to Manresa. At all.

Alinea is, well, Alinea. To me, it hits all the sweet spots and is in a class of its own.

No worries, Bryan, I'm perfectly clear as to where you stand on Manresa's food vs. trappings. I'm just noting that difference.


“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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How long does the Gourmand lunch menu take, roughly? Would love to do it but worried time might be a touch tight (have to be at Ed Sullivan before 3pm for a 12pm lunch reservation) - any chance?

Hate that I'm having to rush these lunches (here and JG), but trying to fit as much into the trip as possible.

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How long does the Gourmand lunch menu take, roughly? Would love to do it but worried time might be a touch tight (have to be at Ed Sullivan before 3pm for a 12pm lunch reservation) - any chance?

Hate that I'm having to rush these lunches (here and JG), but trying to fit as much into the trip as possible.

That would work - you'd be out between 2:30 and 2:45.

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Fantastic pictures – less the pork belly, the Gourmand menu was also substantially the same at the beginning of July. A little bit weird that it almost hasn't changed at all, though.

I may be mistaken, but I'm pretty sure that I've had a French 75 served to me in a champagne flute at M&H before, and the last time I ordered a Death in the Afternoon at White Star, it was definitely served in a champagne flute. I'm pretty sure the flute is the canonically correct option for things based on champagne, though I guess I haven't had anything champagne-based at any of the SCBs that fall more into the modern-ish vein.

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The fact that it is now being put in the category with per se

That category being just literally the category of restaurants that are "4 star NYT"? Or that category being a restaurant generally of the same caliber independent of NYT?

The first statement is irrefutable. The other, oh yeah, you have a fight on your hands :-) (and that fight will have nothing to do with personal preference, I promise!)

p.s. By way of fact, and to assist in the discussion, LeB lists 8 courses for it's extended menu, Daniel lists 8, JG 7, EMP 11 and Per Se doesn't list anything, but from experience and reports, the extended menu starts around 14 and can go up from there. I think it's generally fair to refer to these as VIP style menus, although I think that only Alinea comes out and says "here it is, you can buy yourself in as a VIP for $X", enjoy.

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p.s. By way of fact, and to assist in the discussion, LeB lists 8 courses for it's extended menu, Daniel lists 8, JG 7, EMP 11 and Per Se doesn't list anything, but from experience and reports, the extended menu starts around 14 and can go up from there.  I think it's generally fair to refer to these as VIP style menus, although I think that only Alinea comes out and says "here it is, you can buy yourself in as a VIP for $X", enjoy.

I don't think this is right. Le Bernardin, Jean Georges, Daniel, and Eleven Madison Park all offer their top tastings to anybody who is willing to pay the prices that are clearly marked on their menus.

per se is the exception.


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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The fact that it is now being put in the category with per se

That category being just literally the category of restaurants that are "4 star NYT"? Or that category being a restaurant generally of the same caliber independent of NYT?

The first statement is irrefutable. The other, oh yeah, you have a fight on your hands :-) (and that fight will have nothing to do with personal preference, I promise!)

I'm referring to both your former and latter qualifications.


“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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