Eleven Madison Park, RW - Jan. 23, 2008

Eleven Madison Park
Winter Restaurant Week '08

The last "nice" lunch I had was at Jean Georges, a place that I believe is arguably the best, most consistent restaurant in New York City. I stand by that statement although it is certainly loose footing when you have restaurants like Eleven Madison Park. I've been to EMP and JG about the same amount of times - perhaps a few more times at JG and only a handful of times while DanielHumm has been in the kitchen at EMP. But every time, the food is outstanding. For the second consecutive time, we didn't get our corner seat - though we did get (again) the table next to it. So at least they are consistent in some regard. When asked if we could have that particular table (which was, truthfully, set up as two tables together), the staff girl said it was, um, reserved. Now, no one sat there during the duration of our meal and the restaurant was practically empty, so I call BS on her for that. If I wanted to sit there...the Danny Meyer playbook, I assume, would say that I should be sat there. Whatever. The young, bespeckled sommelier recognized us and was, as usual, awesome to work with. He picked out a great Mersault to go with our salmon. A '94 with just the right minerality. Anyway, the room was nice as usual, service was awfully chipper minus the hostess, bread and water service was efficient and the food...well, the food was great. And, on purpose, I chose more/less the same dishes that I recently had at Jean Georges. I must say that in all respects, each dish was better at Eleven Madison Park.

Parsnip Pear Veloute with Chestnuts
Differences here include that a) it wasn't poured tableside, I guess because of the foam; b) it was free of annoying strands of rosemary; c) it tasted better and looked better. The even consistency and coloring of the soup was remarkable. The flavors were perfect, and completely identifiable.

Salmon with citrus (blood orange, etc.)

This was great. Unlike the overly salty version at Jean Georges, this was served skin up, which gave that extra bit of texture in addition to a nicer, fuller flavor to the fish beneath. The blood orange wasn't too sweet nor too bitter and really worked with this dish nicely. Perfectly cooked and presented.

Araguani Grand Cru Chocolate Symphony with Caramel and Maldon Sea Salt
Make no mistake - this was delicious and far better that it looks. The caramel on the plate and in the "cookie" was remarkable. The cocolate ice cream was fudge-like and of great texture. Awesome.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Do you remember what else was on the restaurant week menu? I'm trying to get excited for my lunch tomorrow.

7:55 PM  

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