Sunday, September 19, 2010

Heaven Eleven: Eleven Madison Park

We began our anniversary weekend with dinner at Eleven Madison Park.
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The restaurant has garnered many accolades, including a four-star New York Times review, a spot on S. Pellegrino's World's 50 Best Restaurants, and a Michelin Star.

The James Beard Foundation also crowned Chef Daniel Humm the Best Chef in New York City this year -- an especially impressive accomplishment for a 33-year-old!
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Chef Humm paid every table a short visit. I took this paparazzi shot a few minutes before he stopped to talk to us. Too bad we'd only just started our meal and didn't have much to discuss yet!

Pimm's Cup -- Pimm's No. 1 Cup, mint, cucumber, citrus, ginger ale ($13) and Oaxacan Cup -- ginger, agave nectar, cucumber, orange ($8).
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Such a great summer drink. Mr. Monkey got the non-alcoholic version.

We chose the 11-course Gourmand Tasting ($189). Did you have any doubts?

Hors d'oeuvres.
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As good as they look. Every tiny bite was perfect.

Sterling Royal caviar composed with variations of buttermilk and buckwheat.
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A masterpiece for the eyes and for the mouth, packed with many textures.

Heirloom tomato lollipop, Heirloom tomato aromatic tea, Heirloom tomato gelee, Heirloom tomato salad with mozzarella ice cream and basil granola.
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How many ways can you use an heirloom tomato? If this had been variations on a mushroom, I think I would've died. Lucky for me, I like tomatoes when they're fresh and beautiful and done right. Incredibly creative. Incredibly awesome. Can you believe all that was considered one course?

Organic rabbit rillettes with foie gras, cherries, and pistachio bread.
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A little bit of salty. A little bit of sweet. A little bit of tart. And a nice chunk of rich, creamy decadence. A lot of yum yum yum.

Atlantic cod, olive oil poached with sweet peppers and piment d'espelette.
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Like a painting! The fish was so delicate!

Nova Scotia lobster lasagna with heirloom squash and lemon verbena.
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Favorite of the night. So flavorful. So luscious. I wanted to lift the dish to my mouth and slurp it all up.

Poussin roasted with sweet corn, chanterelles, and farro.
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Some of the best damn chicken I've ever had. Juicy, tender, and slightly crisp outside.

Milk-fed veal variations with greenmarket beans, violet mustard, and savory.
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The description confused me, but everything on this plate was marvelous. (I discovered later that "savory" was a type of mint, in case you're confused, too.)

Fromage, a selection of artisanal cheeses.
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We asked for mild and soft cheeses and were very pleased with our selection.

Milk & Honey flavors and textures.
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Crazy and weird! It was a pile of powder and snow with a honey surprise!

Bing cherry sundae with pistachio ice cream.
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This was like the dessert version of our earlier rabbit dish. Eleven Madison Park really makes good use of its seasonal ingredients!

Mignardise + digestif.
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The cognac nearly killed me because it was so strong. (Mr. Monkey had sparkling apple cider.) But the tiny macarons were among the best tiny macarons I've ever had. Tiny macarons often suffer from dryness, but these were great -- we could taste each distinct flavor!

When you dine at Eleven Madison Park, you may leave with an empty wallet, but you won't leave empty-handed.
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We enjoyed these tasty gelees the next day.

This meal was exquisite -- undoubtedly one of the best meals we've ever had.
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Happy anniversary indeed!


  1. I want that lobster lasanga. And the cheese plate looks wonderful.

    We've got a reservation for a San Pellegrino top 50 restaurant and we're excited to try some truly awesome food.

  2. Happy Belated 4th Anniversary to the Monkeys!

    As always, lovely photos that I can live vicariously through. I am also LOL-ing at the paparazzi shot of Chef Humm. Love how you focused in on him & as blurry Mr. Monkey is cheesing it up in the foreground.

  3. have I told you lately how much I <3 mr. monkey? that photo killed me!

    that wasn't a meal, that was a work of art - almost too pretty to eat.

    but I'd still eat it.

  4. Happy belated anniversary!!! So glad you loved your dinner at EMP!

  5. Happy Anniversary! Looks like another fantastic meal! You guys are so cute together :)

  6. The paparazzi pic of Chef Humm and Mr. Monkey is one of my favorite pics ever. Happy Belated Anniversary, you two are adorable.

  7. Happy Anniversary! I loved your photos and Mr. Monkey looks very happy. That cheese plate looks redunkulous!

  8. Amazing! Your pictures from this night look particularly beautiful!

  9. Yay to FOUR happy years :-) You guys sure know how to celebrate! CONGRATS!

  10. Happy Anniversary! Love the pap shot with Mr. Monkey.

  11. Whoa. That is some really creative food. I'm really impressed by that chef - truly a superstar!

    My chicken salad sandwich doesn't look so good anymore. :/ lol

  12. Those macarons are adorable. Beautiful photos, as always, and the food looks amazing. Happy Anniversary!

  13. one of the most beautiful and colorful meals i've ever seen... love love love that you share! you and mister are adorable!

  14. Happy Anniversary! The food looked amazing.

  15. happy anniversary!! pictures look amazing, as usual!

  16. I loved so many things in this post...

    - Mr. Mo's posing in the Chef's photo. I died.
    - I hear ya about the mushrooms. Not a fan.
    - I wanted to reach out and grab a lollipop. They looked so good and fun.
    - The arrangement of each dish was just so beautiful, especially the foie gras.

    Happy belated anniversary, Monkeys!

  17. hahah love the faux picture, i do that too! I didn't know EMP was so contemporary with the plating and colors. Looks like a lot of fun. Cocktails looks great too

  18. i can't stop laughing at the photo of mr. mo with the chef in the background. awesome.

    happy belated anniversary! what a great way to celebrate!

  19. the pictures look great. what camera was this taken with? my bf and i had the 5 course on wednesday and it was delicious!

  20. Thanks, Iris. I shoot with a Nikon D40 and take most of my shots with a 35mm f/1.8 lens.

  21. Happy Belated Anniverary! What a freaking fabulous dinner!!

  22. This place was definitely awesome! One of my best meals, ever! I can't wait to try out his new menu concept next month.


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