Eleven + One at Eleven Madison Park

Actually, it was more like twenty, but who’s counting?

By now, everyone knows that executive chef Daniel Humm picked up the James Beard Foundation”Best Chef: New York City” Award. That, however, wasn’t the case when we stepped into Eleven Madison Park for an early and eventually memorable dinner.

Welcome to Eleven Madison Park from Nick Cannell on Vimeo.

First impressions are important and Eleven Madison Park does an excellent job here.

EMP is a beautiful space. I don’t even feel qualified enough to properly describe it, but I’ll give it a shot. There are giant windows that bathe the restaurant in a ton of natural light during the day. Through the windows, you can catch the tops of the trees across the street at Madison Park. The tables are large and spacious, just far enough apart from each other for you to have your privacy, but not so far as to make you feel like you’re on an island. There’s a lively bar populated by Credit Suisse bankers taking a break from deal making upstairs and injecting good background noise into main dining room. But really, enough about the space. We came for the food and there’s a lot to go through.

EMP offers a three course prix fixe, a Spring tasting menu, as well as “Eleven,” Chef Daniel Humm’s selection of eleven courses. We chose the “Eleven” and for good measure, threw in a twelfth course. We’ll go ahead and refer to the rest of the dinner as “Twelve.”

Cheese Gougères

We were presented with these cheese gougères as we looked through the wine menu. They were tasty, light, and just enough to jump start the palate.

2006 Arnot-Roberts Hudson Vineyard, North Block Syrah

900 pages later, we settled on this bottle.

I didn’t capture a picture, but EMP uses a lot of unique decanters and it was fun watching the different ones used throughout the evening.

Soon after the wine arrived, a long tray of hor d’oeuvres arrived at the table.

Carrot Marshmallow

Tuna Tartare

Foie Gras

Morel and Egg Quiche Tartlet

Sweetbread Cornet

The hors d’oeuvres were all good, but the sweetbread cornets stood out for us. I could have eaten a hundred of them without flinching. There was a decent amount of tweezer work put into each of these morsels of yum.

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