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Eleven Madison Park


donbert
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Given that this is a Danny Meyer restaurant, I think there's very little doubt that they would accommodate practically any request, including your idea of splitting a wine pairing. I have never done that (or had it offered), but it seems like a very sensible idea.

My g/f and I have moved away from wine pairings in the last couple of years. Even at four-star restaurants, the standard pairing is often a set of bland choices, designed (or so it seems) to be as dull and inoffensive as possible. I've sometimes found that a couple of "blow-the-doors-off" half-bottles are better.

Here's another idea. If money isn't really the issue, ask the sommelier if he'll go "off-menu". Tell him you want about 750ml between the two of you, and are willing to spend up to $200—or whatever amount. He'll then ask you about your preferences, and give you a set of wines that pair well with the food and are tailored to your interests, instead of whatever the usual pairing would be.

Per Se is the only restaurant I know of where that is the default offering: there are no "set pairings" at Per Se; you agree a price and go from there. But I think any four-star place will do it.

Edited by oakapple (log)
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Does anyone know how that works, practically, though?

If they open a bottle for you that they don't usually use for pairings, what do they do with the rest of the bottle?

I think you've answered your own question: they are not going to open anything that they don't have other uses for. At Per Se, we got a glass of 50-year-old Madeira. Now, I don't think they serve that to everybody...but by the same token, I don't think they opened it just for us.

Edited by oakapple (log)
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I think you've answered your own question: they are not going to open anything that they don't have other uses for. At Per Se, we got a glass of 50-year-old Madeira. Now, I don't think they serve that to everybody...but by the same token, I don't think they opened it just for us.

Exactly. I got a glass of that Madeira one time too--and so wanted to get a second glass but didn't dare to ask.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 2 months later...

Hi all - I was reading through some older posts about dress code at EMP and was wondering what the story is now? I have reservations in late July and don't wanna be too under or over dressed. Any insight would be great. Thanks - Jay

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  • 1 month later...

First dinner at EMP in many years, certainly since Humm took the helm. Have been for lunch, which has been solidly good. But now I get it, folks, I know why you love it so much. FABULOUS meal. I won't bore you with the details, many of which have been recounted here already (like the amuses) and some of which I may no longer recall after drinking half my weight in wine, but suffice it to say that we indulged but good. I'm still thinking about the smoked artic char w/cucumber - I vowed to marry it and very reluctantly shared a few bites. The chicken was also divine - I'm not a chicken orderer, but was steered this way by a friend and the waiter. Truffles, corn, chanterelles. YES. I tasted the lavender duck and was completely swept away by it - subtle floral flavors, not overwhelming, juicy (with peaches) and delicious.

Service was impeccable. I don't know how Danny Meyer does it but everyone we encountered was just ridiculously knowledgeable, eager to assist, with a good sense of humor - it just pushes a meal that good over the top. And we didn't ask for anything unusual, no one went to my apartment to turn off a stove (read his book). It's no wonder that his are my favorite restaurants in NY.

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First dinner at EMP in many years, certainly since Humm took the helm. Have been for lunch, which has been solidly good. But now I get it, folks, I know why you love it so much. FABULOUS meal. I won't bore you with the details, many of which have been recounted here already (like the amuses) and some of which I may no longer recall after drinking half my weight in wine, but suffice it to say that we indulged but good. I'm still thinking about the smoked artic char w/cucumber - I vowed to marry it and very reluctantly shared a few bites. The chicken was also divine - I'm not a chicken orderer, but was steered this way by a friend and the waiter. Truffles, corn, chanterelles. YES. I tasted the lavender duck and was completely swept away by it - subtle floral flavors, not overwhelming, juicy (with peaches) and delicious.

Service was impeccable. I don't know how Danny Meyer does it but everyone we encountered was just ridiculously knowledgeable, eager to assist, with a good sense of humor - it just pushes a meal that good over the top. And we didn't ask for anything unusual, no one went to my apartment to turn off a stove (read his book). It's no wonder that his are my favorite restaurants in NY.

I agree with you 100%. A few weeks ago I had another great dinner at EMP (also loved the artic char and the duck). Service cannot be surpassed! As much as I adore Per Se, EMP provides a wonderful dinner at half the cost (and that's why I've had dinner at EMP six times in the past year and Per Se only once). My sister and I are taking our mom to EMP for lunch to celebrate her 86th birthday next week.

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  • 5 weeks later...

There's an article in the Dining section of the Times this week about how Eleven Madison Park is transitioning from an a la carte menu to a tasting menu restaurant with fewer seats. Not happy to rest on their laurels, I guess. Has anyone gone since the new menu was launched? Anyone planning to go? I have to do all my fine-dining living vicariously.

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So coincidently I had a reservation for dinner last night that was booked a few weeks ago. Needless to say I was a bit surprised about the menu change as I was looking forward to doing the gourmand tasting.

To clarify a few errors in the information out there:

There is a hostess stand, that is tucked off to the right of the entrance where the have the computer, however you don't see it when you walk in.

There is indeed a bar menu, contrary to everything that is out there. What has changed with the bar menu, is the bar snacks have been removed. No more burgers, etc. They explained they are making the switch to move the bar menu to more of a fine dining experience, and the bar menu both in type of food and price reflects this. Is the the only place to order food a la carte

There clearly is no confusion about the lack of a reservations book / hostess. While I was watching they clearly handled people coming and and directing them to their tables.

Originally there was only going to be an option of a 4 course dinner in the main dining room, however, due to the misprint in the times, they added a 5 course option as well. Also the ability to add full size courses at $30 per.

The menu is indeed setup like a bingo card, where you pick your courses, in any order you desire. In terms of the interaction with the captains, they dialog is basically what you want to make of it. They clearly will engage you and go into details about the dishes if you desire, but in our case we just picked items that appealed to us.

For instance, I ordered the Foie, Crab, Loup de Mer and Squab, and my dining companion ordered Tomato, Langoustine, Lobster and Pork. When the dishes are dropped, they provide 4-5 word descriptors of the dish, such as:

  • Tomato salad with mozarella ice cream and basil granola
  • Langostine ceviche with celery apple and lime
  • Lobster poached with fennel peached and orange
  • Pork roasted with cherrys onions and mustard.

They mentioned to me that they increased the descriptors from their previous service from 2-3 words to 4-5 to help describe the dish. They will also go into more detail with the guests if they sense a level of engagement at the table and adjust accordingly.

The BOH staff is also presenting some of the dishes, and from my experience last night they were just the amuse and mignardises

They come out with their whites on along with a server and will drop the dishes explaining them. It was quite amusing watching this, as clearly they are trying to adjust being let out in the FOH during service. They have done away with the large, all at one amuse service and spread it out over a service of 4-5 drops, each one consisting of 1-2 lightly tied together pairings, all of which were amazing. One in particular that stood out was a frozen shaved foie, apple granite, and salted caramel dish which was amazing.

It became obvious that the BOH staff becomes very engaged when you talk to them about specifics of the food they are dropping and they visibly perk up and relax as they are now in an element where they can talk about something they know intimately, as opposed to being nervous about some of your amuses toppling over as they are being served.

The new room layout is considerably more empty, with larger spaces between the tables, and also the removal of the upstairs dining area which they turned into a pantry, carving station, and coffee/tea area. The original kitchen doors next to the bar were moved into the pantry, and the resulting alcove that was left over was turned into the little observation area. One thing about kitchen tours, is you always feel as though you are in the way and although you want to stay and observe but are self conscious about where you are standing.

Leo, the amazing head bartender gave us a treat by bringing us into the kitchen to have a "cocktail" created by one of the chefs that was prepared at this little cocktail pass table. I say "cocktail" as it clearly was a alcohol based drink, but it was in a solid form that was consumed with a spoon. It was grapes, with a bourbon sorbet (nitro frozen) and then topped with a scoop of concord grape foam that was blast chilled with nitro as well. This was all done a la minute and directly in front of you which was an amazing experience. The contrast of the semi frozen bourbon sorbet with the crispy concord grape foam was an amazing combination.

The room last night was probably about 60% full, and is due to the holidays, as well as them holding back the books slightly to get all the logistics worked out.

Overall, it was an amazing meal and the food was clearly the same excellent food, just in a different format. Will the changes take hold and survive? We shall see, but it definitely is an interesting concept and to me, didn't prove to be a distraction to the evening.

One thing that did strike me as a bit bizarre, is the choice of a parting gift. At least for last night, you were presented a pint mason jar, with an embossed emp label on the top that contained breakfast granola. While the granola is amazing, it did seem like a bizarre gift for a restaurant striving to be 3 m stars.

John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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I was there on the last day of the old menu. The article details everything I learned about the new setup better than I could have. The only "news" I can share beyond what was covered there is that apparently Chef Humm was planning to head to Japan for a good part of the time the restaurant was closed...though I've no idea to what extent it may have been a fact-finding mission.

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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Overall, it was an amazing meal and the food was clearly the same excellent food, just in a different format. Will the changes take hold and survive? We shall see, but it definitely is an interesting concept and to me, didn't prove to be a distraction to the evening.

Thanks for the detailed report.

Originally there was only going to be an option of a 4 course dinner in the main dining room, however, due to the misprint in the times, they added a 5 course option as well. Also the ability to add full size courses at $30 per.

Wait - the Times made an error so they had to add a course?

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Originally there was only going to be an option of a 4 course dinner in the main dining room, however, due to the misprint in the times, they added a 5 course option as well. Also the ability to add full size courses at $30 per.

Wait - the Times made an error so they had to add a course?

I was told that they originally were only going to do 4 courses with the option of adding extras at $30 per. Due to the times article stating 4 or 5, they figured it was easier to just add a 5th course than deal with the headache of all the people coming in with a clipping from the times.

John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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Share on other sites

So coincidently I had a reservation for dinner last night that was booked a few weeks ago. Needless to say I was a bit surprised about the menu change as I was looking forward to doing the gourmand tasting.

To clarify a few errors in the information out there:

There is a hostess stand, that is tucked off to the right of the entrance where the have the computer, however you don't see it when you walk in.

There is indeed a bar menu, contrary to everything that is out there. What has changed with the bar menu, is the bar snacks have been removed. No more burgers, etc. They explained they are making the switch to move the bar menu to more of a fine dining experience, and the bar menu both in type of food and price reflects this. Is the the only place to order food a la carte

There clearly is no confusion about the lack of a reservations book / hostess. While I was watching they clearly handled people coming and and directing them to their tables.

Originally there was only going to be an option of a 4 course dinner in the main dining room, however, due to the misprint in the times, they added a 5 course option as well. Also the ability to add full size courses at $30 per.

The menu is indeed setup like a bingo card, where you pick your courses, in any order you desire. In terms of the interaction with the captains, they dialog is basically what you want to make of it. They clearly will engage you and go into details about the dishes if you desire, but in our case we just picked items that appealed to us.

For instance, I ordered the Foie, Crab, Loup de Mer and Squab, and my dining companion ordered Tomato, Langoustine, Lobster and Pork. When the dishes are dropped, they provide 4-5 word descriptors of the dish, such as:

  • Tomato salad with mozarella ice cream and basil granola
  • Langostine ceviche with celery apple and lime
  • Lobster poached with fennel peached and orange
  • Pork roasted with cherrys onions and mustard.

They mentioned to me that they increased the descriptors from their previous service from 2-3 words to 4-5 to help describe the dish. They will also go into more detail with the guests if they sense a level of engagement at the table and adjust accordingly.

The BOH staff is also presenting some of the dishes, and from my experience last night they were just the amuse and mignardises

They come out with their whites on along with a server and will drop the dishes explaining them. It was quite amusing watching this, as clearly they are trying to adjust being let out in the FOH during service. They have done away with the large, all at one amuse service and spread it out over a service of 4-5 drops, each one consisting of 1-2 lightly tied together pairings, all of which were amazing. One in particular that stood out was a frozen shaved foie, apple granite, and salted caramel dish which was amazing.

It became obvious that the BOH staff becomes very engaged when you talk to them about specifics of the food they are dropping and they visibly perk up and relax as they are now in an element where they can talk about something they know intimately, as opposed to being nervous about some of your amuses toppling over as they are being served.

The new room layout is considerably more empty, with larger spaces between the tables, and also the removal of the upstairs dining area which they turned into a pantry, carving station, and coffee/tea area. The original kitchen doors next to the bar were moved into the pantry, and the resulting alcove that was left over was turned into the little observation area. One thing about kitchen tours, is you always feel as though you are in the way and although you want to stay and observe but are self conscious about where you are standing.

Leo, the amazing head bartender gave us a treat by bringing us into the kitchen to have a "cocktail" created by one of the chefs that was prepared at this little cocktail pass table. I say "cocktail" as it clearly was a alcohol based drink, but it was in a solid form that was consumed with a spoon. It was grapes, with a bourbon sorbet (nitro frozen) and then topped with a scoop of concord grape foam that was blast chilled with nitro as well. This was all done a la minute and directly in front of you which was an amazing experience. The contrast of the semi frozen bourbon sorbet with the crispy concord grape foam was an amazing combination.

The room last night was probably about 60% full, and is due to the holidays, as well as them holding back the books slightly to get all the logistics worked out.

Overall, it was an amazing meal and the food was clearly the same excellent food, just in a different format. Will the changes take hold and survive? We shall see, but it definitely is an interesting concept and to me, didn't prove to be a distraction to the evening.

One thing that did strike me as a bit bizarre, is the choice of a parting gift. At least for last night, you were presented a pint mason jar, with an embossed emp label on the top that contained breakfast granola. While the granola is amazing, it did seem like a bizarre gift for a restaurant striving to be 3 m stars.

The new dinner format sounds wonderful! Thanks for posting such a very detailed report. I have dinner reservations (I made the reservation after hearing about the new format) in two weeks, and I am looking forward to it. When I had dinner at EMP in July, my sister and I were raving about the basil granola that accompanied the heirloom tomato salad with mozzarella ice cream (great dish!). We were each gifted with a package of the basil granola--best snack food ever!

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The granola we had was a breakfast type granola. Almonds and golden raisins. Very tasty.

John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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Looks like they have massively pimped up their coffee service too, with Chemex or Siphon service tableside.

Ny Times.

John Deragon

foodblog 1 / 2

--

I feel sorry for people that don't drink. When they wake up in the morning, that's as good as they're going to feel all day -- Dean Martin

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Looks like they have massively pimped up their coffee service too, with Chemex or Siphon service tableside.

Ny Times.

Wonderful. It's about time...too many fine restaurants have served terrible coffee for too long. I was discussing this the morning before my meal at EMP on their last day of the old service. Sure enough, the coffee was textbook restaurant coffee, dreck. It's often the last thing that crosses a diner's lips. There's no reason it shouldn't be as high quality as everything else.

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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Sweet and savoury granolas - it's funny to think a restaurant as posh as EMP has a granola fixation! Makes it seem more approachable to me, somehow. The coffee service looks quite elegant. I've had siphon coffee in Shanghai - it makes an excellent cup. Much better than something that's been sitting on a Bunn burner for an hour, I'd have to think.

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I've heard some fairly scary things about the coffee prices.

According to the article, "a siphon that serves three is $26, a Chemex is $22". Assuming that in most similarly situated restaurants you're getting drip coffee that has sat on a burner or in a carafe for god knows how long and paying no less than $5 per person, I don't find those prices at all scary.

Edited by KD1191 (log)

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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