Eleven Madison Park [bar]

The birthday girl and I moved the celebration from The NoMad to the bar at Eleven Madison Park. We started off with a delicious dessert: Chocolate Ganache, Bourbon Caramel, Burnt Honey Ice Cream, and Ginger. Amazing! After dessert, we were in the mood for something savory… so we ordered the Honey & Lavender Glazed Duck with Rutabaga and Bee Pollen. Hands down, the best duck I’ve ever had. We also devoured two rounds of dinner rolls (they are a delectable cross between a roll and a croissant). I’m going to have to stop in at the EMP bar more often!

Eleven Madison Park: 11 Madison Avenue (at East 26th Street)

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Enjoyed a beautiful glass of Copain Pinot Noir

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Chocolate Ganache, Bourbon Caramel, Burnt Honey Ice Cream, and Ginger

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Honey & Lavender Glazed Duck with Rutabaga and Bee Pollen

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The irresistible dinner rolls served with Amagansett Sea Salt and two types of butter (the one on the left is made with duck fat!)

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View of the dining room from the bar

Eleven Madison Park [bar]

The NoMad [brunch]

It’s time to celebrate the birthday of a wonderful foodie friend, and what better place to do that than at The NoMad?  I’m an even bigger fan of Chef Daniel Humm after meeting him at the Cayman Cookout, so I was thrilled to return to one of his restaurants. My friend and I met up in the early afternoon for brunch and kicked off the meal with a couple of cocktails: Jungle Bird and Rattle & Humm. So refreshing! Then came the feast. We shared four mouthwatering dishes: the King Crab Tagliatelle (hands down, one of the best pastas I’ve ever eaten),  Sunchoke with smoked pork cheek & Asian pear (I’m into anything that involves pork or Asian pears), Smoked Pork Belly (can you believe that this was a side dish… that we almost didn’t order?! Thank goodness our server was there to remind us that we needed it!), and last, but certainly not least, the famous Chicken Sandwich with brioche, black truffle, and foie gras. I’ve had the whole chicken during dinner and it was magnificent — so I knew the sammie was going to be great. And was it ever! After every last crumb was devoured, it was time for more cocktails so we moved the party to The Library where we enjoyed three more drinks: Start Me Up, Sherry Cobbler, and a Basil-Fennel Soda (I requested that a couple of shots of vodka be added to it ;)). By the time we were finished, it was almost 5:30pm… which means it’s practically dinner time. Off to the bar at Eleven Madison Park we go for more delicious eats!

The NoMad: 1170 Broadway (between East 27th and 28th Street)

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JUNGLE BIRD (aged rum, Campari, pineapple, lime) and RATTLE AND HUMM (rye, blended scotch, pear liqueur, orgear, lemon, Pineapple, allspice)

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TAGLIATELLE with King Crab, Meyer Lemon, and Black Pepper

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SUNCHOKE marinated with Smoked Pork Cheek and Asian Pear

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SMOKED PORK BELLY — this was a side dish!

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CHICKEN SANDWICH with Brioche, Black Truffle, and Foie Gras

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Cross section of the chicken sandwich

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A close up of all that deliciousness

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The dining room

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More cocktails (from left to right): START ME UP (bourbon, rum, strega, honey, ginger, lemon, orange bitters), SHERRY COBBLER (Fino sherry, Pedro Ximenez sherry, pineapple gomme, orange), and BASIL-FENNEL SODA (basil, fennel, lemon, sparkling mineral water, and a couple shots of vodka!)

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The Library

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Spotted Chef Daniel Humm’s cookbook on the shelf next to our table

The NoMad [brunch]

Cayman Cookout: I Love New York with Daniel Humm (Cayman Islands)

The first Cayman Cookout event that I attended was one of the best and most memorable of the entire trip — Chef Daniel Humm’s I Love New York demo on the beach. The weather was cloudy and rainy, but that didn’t matter at all. Chef Humm captivated me with stories about growing up in Switzerland, his passion for New York and local ingredients, and, of course, his delicious food! We enjoyed spicy & refreshing yellow Bloody Marys and a savory warm bread salad, all made with fresh tomatoes from New Jersey. (Gotta love those Jersey tomatoes — they are pretty incredible!) :)  It was so much fun learning about the musical inspiration at Eleven Madison Park (Miles Davis) and at The NoMad (The Rolling Stones). How awesome is that! He told us that he and his team recently revamped the menu at EMP — I can’t wait to check it out! Chef Humm’s food is always exciting, innovative, beautiful, and absolutely delicious. A big thank you to Chef Daniel Humm and Chef Connie Chung for a wonderful demo!

Cayman Cookout hosted by Eric Ripert, January 16 – 19, 2014
The Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman

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This amazing man needs no introduction!  A warm welcome for Chef Daniel Humm, Executive Chef & Co-Owner of Eleven Madison Park and The NoMad in New York City

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Chef Connie Chung and Chef Daniel Humm blending up some delicious Bloody Marys 

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Check out the beautiful yellow heirloom tomatoes in the mirror

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Can’t wait to try it! 

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Yellow Bloody Mary made with yellow heirloom tomatoes and garnished with dill, cherry tomatoes, and pickled vegetables

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Loved listening to Chef Humm talk about growing up in Switzerland and his love of food

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Now it’s time to whip up some warm bread salad 

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Chef Humm talking about how much he enjoys Jersey tomatoes :) 

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He has a real passion and appreciation for local ingredients 

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Something smells really good right now!

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Warm Bread Salad — so simple and delicious

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What a fun demo!

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Perfect pairing for the beach! Can I have seconds?

Cayman Cookout: I Love New York with Daniel Humm (Cayman Islands)

Eleven Madison Park

I’m beyond thrilled to be back at Eleven Madison Park only a few months after my last visit. This time around, we made an early reservation at 5:30pm, which was perfect for me… my photos came out so much better with all of the natural sunlight! :) I loved being able to see every detail of the each dish — they are true works of art. The presentation is simply stunning! We enjoyed a few of our favorites from last time (the clam bake, picnic basket, carrot tartare, duck, and egg cream) and experienced a number of new seasonal dishes. Some of the standouts for me were the foie gras brulee with summer berries and beets, poached striped bass with zucchini and squash blossoms, sea urchin snow with smoked cantaloupe and conch, and the lobster salad with tomato and lettuce. The service was impeccable, as always. Yet another extraordinary dining experience at EMP!

Eleven Madison Park: 11 Madison Avenue (at East 26th Street)

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The dining room

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The dining room

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CHEDDAR (savory black and white cookie with apple)

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SEA URCHIN snow with smoked cantaloupe and conch

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TOMATO gelee with summer beans and saffron oil

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LITTLENECK CLAM (clam bake with whelk, parker house roll, and chowder)

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LOBSTER salad with tomato and lettuce

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FOIE GRAS brulee with summer berries and beets

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Grinding the carrots 

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CARROT tartare with rye bread and condiments

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I mixed in most of the condiments — so good!

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STRIPED BASS poached with zucchini and squash blossoms

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DUCK roasted with pistachio, rhubarb, and fennel

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Picnic Basket Pale Wheat Ale

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GREENSWALD cheese

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Pretzels, mustard, and pickled strawberries

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MALT (egg cream with vanilla and seltzer)

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Magic Trick! Espresso and Mint chocolates

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SHEEP’S MILK cheesecake with mango and peanut

Eleven Madison Park

Eleven Madison Park

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)

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SEA URCHIN (Custard with Apple Gelee and Scallop)

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CLAM (Surf Clam with Morcilla Sausage and Celery Root)

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CLAM (Chowder)

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Dinner Rolls with Duck Fat Butter

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SCALLOP (Seared with Radish, Caviar, and Apple)

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CARROT (Tartare with Rye Bread and Condiments)

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POTATO (Baked with Bonito Cream, Shallot, and Pike Roe)

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DUCK (Roasted with Lavender Honey, Plum, and Kale)

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A picnic basket full of goodies 

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Inside: Greensward Cheese, Homemade Pretzel, Mustard, Grapes, and EMP Picnic Basket Pale Wheat Ale

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MAPLE (Bourbon Barrel Aged with Milk and Shaved Ice)

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Surprise! A tiny bourbon flavored chocolate under my dessert

Eleven Madison Park

The NoMad

The NoMad by Chef Daniel Humm is one of the most exciting new restaurants that opened this year in Manhattan. The decor was lush and rich — just like the food. The best dishes of  the night for me were the king crab tagliatelle (buttery yet light) and the suckling pig (moist and tender with super crispy skin). I need to make another trip to The NoMad very soon to try everything else on the menu!

The NoMad: 1170 Broadway (between East 27th and 28th Street)

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TAGLIATELLE, KING CRAB, MEYER LEMON & BLACK PEPPER

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WHOLE-ROASTED CHICKEN FOR TWO WITH FOIE GRAS, BLACK TRUFFLE, BRIOCHE (white meat)

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SUCKLING PIG, CONFIT WITH CHERRIES, ONIONS & WILD GREENS

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LOBSTER, MINESTRONE WITH FAVE BEANS, LEMON VERBENA & GARGANELLI

The NoMad