Having previously held the number one spot I was pretty excited about Eleven Madison Park, they dropped down to number four on the list this year and in my mind that meant they’d be trying harder than ever to get that top spot back. We were very lucky to get a table and I must admit I was on their website the second reservations opened up.
A few days before our reservation Claire one of the Maitr’ds emailed me to confirm the reservation, check for dietaries, special occasions etc. This is pretty standard for a restaurant of this calibre, however, the way she did it came across as incredibly genuine. I mentioned this blog and she showed actual interest in it.
Upon arrival, we were quickly welcomed into the tall dining room which is located in a classic New York style building. Elegant however not obtrusive. Table settings are nicely spaced. Our waitress Mi knows about the blog and begins talking to us about it, I can tell already she knows good restaurants. She also got me super hyped for Blue Hill which we had a few days later.
There’s a present on the table to begin the proceedings. I love presents. Inside is a savoury black and white cookie with cheddar and apple. The only way I can describe this is like cheese and crackers on steroids.
Ridel glasses and we go for the wine list rather than pairing. Eleven Madison Park is one of the worlds best restaurants and the price tag reflects it. We managed to get a bottle of wine at a reasonable price though.
Of course, they check again for allergies which we don’t have however also ask that question “Is there anything you don’t like?”. I always appreciate this one because I can’t stand the taste of coffee. Soon after our menu is explained and we’re given choices for some of the three courses because there is three of us we get them all and decide to share. She remembered that I don’t like coffee which was good!
Tomato Tea with Summer Herb Bundle, to sip alongside the Dosa with Goat Cheese and Green Tomato. The green tomato is nice and the goat cheese incredible, I could eat this for days. The tea compliments it nicely. As they explained the courses they also asked if anything needed to be repeated, thank you!
Tomato Salad with Summer Berries a continuation of the previous course. How amazing to mix the tomatoes with strawberries creating a taste sensation.
The service is impeccable and it takes less than 30 seconds from a glass being empty for it to be filled up again. I deeply appreciate this. The service is fast but not too fast. They have the hive thing going on with waiters swarming around to ensure everything is just perfect.
Corn souffle with Caviar and Bonito, they cut the top off the souffle then quenelle the caviar to create an impressive dish. The souffle balances out the fishy taste of the caviar and is such a clever take on your classic caviar bellini.
We’re off to a good start, however, can they keep it up?! So often we start off great then it goes downhill. I wonder the same about the service, as the dining room starts to fill can they continue this level of greatness.
Then the bread comes out and it is next level awesome. It’s like half brioche, half croissant, piping hot and unbelievably incredible. The butter is also just fantastic. We may have had more than one serving!!
Foie Gras, Marinated with Eggplant and Mint – perfect.
Foie Gras, Seared with Plum and Duck Prosciutto – even more perfect!
Crab Salad with Zucchini and Lemon – so delicately created with a nice crunch.
Melon Salad with Coriander and Pressed Yogurt. This is just as good as everything else we’ve eaten so far. They’re definitely following through with that good start!
When going to the bathroom the napkins are replaced straight away. The bathroom has non-branded hand lotion, however, is contained in beautiful dispensers. They also include cotton tips and lifesavers and sanitary products in the ladies.
Lobster, Butter-Poached and Charred with Greens and Bean Ecrasse. Yum, well cooked and flavourful.
Striped Bass, Slow Cooked with Cucumbers and Lovage. Soft and tender with just the right flavour.
Yellow Squash, with Lemon Verbena and Ginger. It’s just great, I would have liked a little more sweetness but this is just me being super critical.
The plates here are very cool, custom made for Eleven Madison Park with their logos on the bottom. They also balance the cutlery on them perfectly which much be such a breeze for the servers.
Snails, Grilled with Chanterelles and Onion. The snails here are fed mint to bring the flavour through in the meal. This is served with an incredible lettuce wrap. Just incredible and surprisingly so.
Eggplant, Roasted with Amaranth and Basil, probably my least favourite course of the evening, however, I really can’t fault it.
Rib-eye, Dry Aged and Grilled with Red Peppers, beautifully presented and just right.
Duck, Honey and Lavender Glazed with Blueberries and Onion. This is absolutely perfect and the dish of the night. I don’t think you could make anything better, ever.
The sides to go with our main courses are Corn, Creamed with Juniper and Grated Egg Yolk and Zucchini with Lemon and Mint. Yes, yes and yes. That’s the only words I have left!
Everyone at Eleven Madison Park works as a team and this is evident when Sam our sommelier takes some of our plates. They have a real sense of pride in their service and where they work and it shows. He was also very good when helping select our next wine, knew our price range and following courses and made me look good when choosing it. Thanks Sam!
We get a kitchen tour next and by this point, fiancee is frothing. While in the kitchen we learn a bit more about their philosophy and get a delicious vanilla and raspberry popsicle.
Triple creme, in Brioche with Cherry and Basil Creme Fraiche. Very consistent, precise and well thought out.
Peach, Compote and Shingles with Honey Custard. This is like an apple crumble but so much better!
Chocolate, Sorbet with Shortbread and Coffee Meringue. It’s incredibly well put together and I can see why it’s good just not for me with my disdain for coffee.
Blackberry, Ice Cream and Granita with Caramelized Milk and Lemon. Unfortunately, as we were sharing by the time this got to me it was a little melted. So guess what? They brought out another course just for me! What incredible service and while I liked the dish the first time it was even more sensational the second time.
To finish the evening we’re given a shot of Apple Brandy that is made just for them. A little too strong for my liking, however, loved that they left the bottle on the table. This is accompanied by Chocolate covered Pretzels which are soft, salty, sweet and yum. Almost have a cookie dough like texture.
Finally, we’re given a little bag that has a tin with our menu and their granola for us to take home. Upon writing this blog I discovered we all had personalised menus too! As we leave we’re also given some of the bread and butter to take home. So lovely, they recognised how much we loved it.
Overall Eleven Madison Park is onto a winner, the service is incredible, the food delightful and the entire experience incredible. Because of this and I have to say only just they’re taking our top spot – thank you Eleven Madison Park for a wonderful, memorable and incredible evening!
- Eleven Madison Park
- Tim Raue
- Piazza Duomo and Reale
- Asador Etxebarri
- Le Calandre
- The Ledbury
- The Clove Club
- Dinner by Heston
- Astrid y Gaston
- Restaurant Steirereck