Ms Skinnyfat

A Food & Travel Blog from Singapore

Eleven Madison Park NYC

By Tuesday, September 30, 2014 , , , ,

I'm usually at a loss when people ask me what's my favorite/best meals. 1. I dine out way too much 2. I find myself increasingly hard to be impressed 3. I've a memory of a gold fish. I don't seek out life changing experiences when it comes to food and traveling, I think people try too hard to find them and set too high an expectation, which usually ends up in disappointment or self delusion that that's the best simply because you went out of the way/paid an arm or a leg just to experience it (and that was a terribly long sentence). I'm not judging btw, it's partly self reflection.

Back to the question on favorite/best meals. It's so much easier to pick favorite ones from my travels because they're more precious. Plus it's a combination of my 2 most favorite things. So the absolute best from New York City under the Michelin star category, I present Eleven Madison Park.

Eleven Madison Park is a 3 Michelin star restaurant, also S.Pellagrino top 50 restaurants in the world. Not that these accolades mean everything.The other 3 stars like Daniel and Per Se were simply underwhelming. EMP however, just kept blowing my mind course after course (there were 13!). To me, it was like going to the theatre and watching a play. What's lovely is that the multi-course tasting menu focuses on the agricultural bounty of New York and its culinary traditions.
The gorgeous backdrop of the park, the spacious dining room and the pampering and impeccable service by the attentive and warm staff, also contributed to the overall dining experience. EMP is possibly the first fine dining restaurant that I felt absolutely at home in.

Of course, the food played a large part! I'm sorry if there's not gonna be much description. Remember I have the memory of a goldfish?

Cheddar- Savory Black and White Cookie with Apple. EMP totally get that desserts are the best appetizers. Loved that crumble.

Oyster- Wood Sorrel, Buckwheat and Mignonette.

Asparagus- Custard with Caviar and Rhubarb.
Surf Clam- Fava Bean, Meyer Lemon, and Green Garlic. Ethereal mousse on top of the sweet clam.

Littleneck Clam. This is EMP's interpretation of a Long Island Clam Bake. I love that the dish had different components to it. Clambake with Whelk, Parker House Roll, and a light chowder served in a teapot.
Channeling my inner Japanese domestic goddess here.

Foie Gras- Seared with Pencil Asparagus and Potato Souttle. The best way to cook foie gras is to sear it. Really.

Carrot- Tartare with Rye Bread and Condiments. I was anticipating this dish throughout the meal because I saw how it was done at the other tables! The waiter would first affix a meat finder to the table and then insert some really fresh carrots (with leafy heads!) for grinding. We were presented with a selection of condiments for us to construct our own dish. Well I just mixed everything up. #notthatcreative
Lovely bread rolls with butter that I could devour on its own.

Lobster- Poached with Snap Peas, Morels, and Sweetbreads. Flavors from the garden and the sea.

Nettles- Creamed with Fingerling Potato and Goat Cheese. Tastes of spring.
Beef-ore and After.

Beef- Grilled with Mushrooms, Amaranth. See that little piece of marrow?

The rest of the Bone Marrow went into this dish. Bone Marrow Braised Oxtail with Foie Gras and Potato. Savory, creamy and delightful.

Celery Root- Creme Cake with Apple Sorbet, Walnut, and White Pepper. I was honestly way too stuffed but there's always space for desserts.

We took away the Chocolate Pretzel covered with Sea Salt and the Sweet Black and White Cookie with Apricot for our picnic in Central Park.
I loved the Muesli Granola that was given to us at the end of the meal. I rationed this for the longest time because they were the perfect savory and sweet snack ever.

S and i have different takes on our meal at EMP. Him being the practical guy thought it was a long drawn meal affair (it took us close to 3h) which also happened to be really expensive (it's US$225/pax before tax and gratuity). I on the other hand was reveling in the theatrics of the entire dining experience. A play plus a really good meal would amount to that price as well. Perhaps the ladies would enjoy this much better (my gf loved it too).

So if you feel like splurging on a really good meal, go to Eleven Madison Park. It may not be life changing but it may possibly be the best fine dining experience in NYC.

Eleven Madison Park
11 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10010, United States
Tel: +1 212-889-0905

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  1. My friends and I had differing opinions about Eleven Madison Park as well. I liked its playfulness, but others thought too gimmicky. Per Se at NYC is a good choice too.