For my birthday, I experienced one of the most exquisite and delicious meals of my life at Eleven Madison Park. I had dined there about two years ago, also on my birthday, when the menu consisted of four courses. The previous format was really cool — we chose four ingredients (i.e. beef, foie gras, hamachi, lobster) from a list of sixteen, shared any notable likes/dislikes, and the chefs designed custom dishes for us. It was amazing. This time around, we didn’t even receive a menu at the beginning of the meal. Food aversions and allergies were taken into consideration and then the show began.
Over the course of about four hours, we indulged in dish after incredible dish. In perfect harmony with my “No beef or pork” Lenten sacrifice, the entire menu consisted of seafood, vegetables, and duck (although they did give us the option of getting a rib-eye instead). It was hard to say no, but I was so happy we went with duck because it was absolutely the BEST DUCK I’VE EVER EATEN. There were sixteen courses listed on the menu, which we received copies of when the meal was over (customized to what we each ate), but it was more like twenty-something (the Clam course alone had five different components). I could ramble on for days about each delectable dish, but you should just check them out for yourself (please see the full photo album under DINING OUT for a complete play-by-play). As if dining at the 10th best restaurant in the world (as per San Pellegrino) is not enough, Chef Daniel Humm was there that night and he came over to our table to say hello! He was so friendly and sweet. Have I died and gone to heaven yet? This meal was one of the most magnificent meals that I’ve had in my entire thirty-ish years on this planet (err, did I say thirty? Must’ve been a typo… I meant twenty ;)). Hooray for birthdays!
Eleven Madison Park: 11 Madison Avenue (at East 26th Street)
SEA URCHIN (Custard with Apple Gelee and Scallop)
CLAM (Surf Clam with Morcilla Sausage and Celery Root)
Dinner Rolls with Duck Fat Butter
SCALLOP (Seared with Radish, Caviar, and Apple)
CARROT (Tartare with Rye Bread and Condiments)
POTATO (Baked with Bonito Cream, Shallot, and Pike Roe)
DUCK (Roasted with Lavender Honey, Plum, and Kale)
A picnic basket full of goodies
Inside: Greensward Cheese, Homemade Pretzel, Mustard, Grapes, and EMP Picnic Basket Pale Wheat Ale
MAPLE (Bourbon Barrel Aged with Milk and Shaved Ice)
Surprise! A tiny bourbon flavored chocolate under my dessert