Restaurant: Eleven Madison Park

October 12, 2006

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A lot has been said about the new chef/menu at Eleven Madison Park—and I can tell you—it is truly amazing! It was easily one of the best meals of my life. From the food, to the service, to the chef stopping by our table, to the delightful take-home treat (pictured above)–it was all spectacular!

I was lucky enough to go there for dinner with BG and enjoy the “Gourmand Tasting Menu”. It started with a delightfully crisp Martini (Kettle One, straight up, very dry, extra olives, please!), and moved through two, yes, TWO bottles of the fabulous 2004 Radio Coteau Zinfandel Von Weidlich. And yes, there were only two of us.

We were assisted in our wine choice by Sam the Sommelier. He was very friendly and seemingly knowledgeable…but it was rather like having a 22 year old David Schwimmer, dressed in a sharp suit with an “Eaton-esque” tie, give you wine advice. Kind of funny! *smile*

I decided not to take pictures or written notes, so that I could enjoy each course as fully as possible. I’m sure you won’t be surprised (based on the alcohol/person ratio), when I tell you that I don’t remember each component of each course *smile*–but I’ll share with you what I do remember.

The Gourmand Tasting Menu from Eleven Madison Park as “published”
Executive Chef Daniel Humm

Ostera Caviar
Duo with Sea Urchin, Scallop, and Organic Egg

Hudson Valley Foie Gras
Seared with Sweet Corn, Blueberries and Lime

Turbot

Aiguillette with Saffron Fumet and “Fleur de Courgette Farcie”

Scottish Langostine
Poached with Sauce Corail, Lemon-Verbena and Vanilla Sea Salt

Four Story Hill Farm “Cote de Veau”
Herb Roasted “En Lasagne” with Oregon Blue Foot Mushrooms

Fromage
Lynnhaven Chevre with Capezzana Olive Oil, “Mignonette de Quatre Baies”

Chocolate- Hazelnut
Souffle with Gianduja Ganache and Espresso Bean Ice Cream

Mignardises

Sounds impressive, doesn’t it? And yet there was more! A few other “surprise” courses were brought along the way:

The starter tray: A miniature Filo cone, can’t remember what it was filled with; Three square Parmesan wafers, a lovely deep amber color, with smaller squares of what we first thought to be goat cheese, but was rather more like a light drained yogurt with the kick of lemon; Some kind of meringue sandwich…can’t remember…..ah, the vino! [Though this was the first course, or “Amuse Bouche”, so perhaps I should be cursing the martini instead!]

“Seafood Ragout” Clam, mussel, shrimp, floating in a tomato/orange broth.

Sashimi tray – 3 pieces the size of silver dollars, with thin half-moon lime slices in between: Blue fin tuna, something else, and something else from Hawaii, name of fish means ”good to eat”…..a tuna tartare….fresh wasabi….bowl of soy sauce, and one with sea salt crystal with lemon water poured over. A bite of the tartare dipped in the salty water was like slurping an oyster—the fresh brininess of the sea, right in your mouth.

A Manila Clam with something and cilantro

The Mignardises were: small red meringue cookie(?), miniature (like the size of a dime) chocolate cup filled with a peanut-butter-chocolate mousse, a square of rich caramel enrobed in dark chocolate…if you don’t eat it in one bite, the caramel will ooze out and you can lick it with your finger…and a dark–almost burnt sugar–caramel wrapped in cellophane, that we took to go.

All in all, a wonderful meal, a wonderful evening…and even a treat (complete with thank-you note, below) to make the experience last just that bit longer. Mmmm….perfect!

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