Eleven Madison Park
Had lunch today at EMP with dad. Reminder everyone...you only have two days left to use the coupon you received during Restaurant Week.
We both had the torchon of "Elevage Perigord" Foie Gras with Venezuelan Cocoa in a gelee to start. It was served with an average piece of brioche that also had a swirl of cocoa through it, much like the foie gras. The foie gras was, naturally, delicious and topped with some salty shavings. It was cut in a thin round and elevated above a gelee of sorts. Was it worth $28. The simple answer is no. The serving was meager at best. No question that the presentation and execution was flawless, but the amount to cost ration makes no sense. I see why some people are turned off by this here. I'm glad to have been able to use the coupon to pay for this.
Dad went with the Scottish Salmon "Mi-Cuit" which he said was fantastic. I've had it before and yes, it was very good ($29).
I ordered the slow-cooked Loup de Mer (Branzino or Mediterranean Sea Bass) with saffron endive nage and ginger ($32). Again, the presentation and execution was flawless. The portion size here was appropriate and the flavor and texture was fantastic. Great.
For dessert, we both had the 'Chocolate-Peanut' - a tart of sorts, similar to what you'd get if you married a twix and a snickers bar. It was served with peanut butter caramel and brandied cherry chip ice cream. The ice cream was a disappointment but the rest was very good.
Our waiter wasn't that good. He had zero personality and didn't do much to earn his tip. This is the first time I can say that about a meal at EMP. It's always been top notch. The sommelier on the other hand, was great as usual. He picked for us a Franz Hirtzberger, Rotes Tor (Smaragd, 2004) (Gruner Vetliner) that did the trick. Same to the general manager and host staff.
And it is simply wonderful to be sat in the same seat everytime. Must be the wonders of OpenTable or just good service, but they listen and really treat their guests how they want to be treated.
It remains one of my favorite restaurants, though after absorbing others' recent critiques (small portions, lack of a strong flavor profile on some dishes, etc.) I can, to some extent, agree with them. For starters, they need a new pastry chef and I vote to bring back the leaf-shaped butter.