11 Madison Park

I have always loved 11 Madison Park.  I've been a patron since the doors opened twelve years ago.  The space is so magnificent and has always called for a ultimate dining experience.   The space is large with expansive soaring ceilings but at the same time feels intimate and certainly unique.  If you close your eyes you can imagine what a dining experience might feel like over hundred years ago in a similar space with the same attention to every detail from the minute you sit down. 

The menu is simple.  Either four courses or five.  There are sixteen items written on a square page.  Four across and four down.  For the four course option you pick one from each line, for a five course you can just pick one more item from either line.  All explanations must come from your server.  For instance, one line looks like this.   beet  langoustine  salmon  foie gras 

We went with four courses and the wine tasting.  I really like the wine pairing because each dish is so unique and the right wine makes all the difference.  A very nice touch.  The wines that they chose were spectacular and all from mostly small vintners. 

First thing out is different tastings from the chef.  Potato tea.

Potato lavish on the side.  Basically a potato chip with sour cream and caviar on the end.  Really nice dipped in the tea.

Next round was hamachi on puffed rice.  Didn't love this one.  The rice was a bit overwhelming for the fish which was a little fishy.

The salmon was delicious.  Wrapped salmon with creme fraiche and cucumber.  Presentation is amazing.

Last round of little plates was the best.  Smoked sturgeon on lettuce.  An interesting combo of flavors that just exploded in your mouth. 

Smoked sturgeon with caviar and creme fraiche in an egg cup.  This was decadent.

At this point the bread came out.  Two small french loaves that fit in the palm of your head.  One plain and the other with olives.  Warm, soft and crispy.  Bread is just the food of the gods.  Two butters, one was a calves milk and the other goats milk.  Totally different tastes.  I preferred the calves milk which is creamier and I thought had more flavor.  

Next course was our first line from the menu.  Fred went with the crab and avocado roullade.  Beautiful preparation with simple ingredients.  A sophisticated california roll without the rice and seaweed.

I had the langoustines.  Sashimi style sliced into a few pieces with slices of green apple and celery sitting in a cream.  i tried to write down everything they told me but didn't capture it all.  This was really interesting.  Not what i was expecting.  Perfect for the last bits of bread I had to dip into the cream. 

Potato gno
For the second course Fred went with the potato.  Small light potato gnocchi mixed with Hawaiian prawns.  Interesting combo.  More like a deconstructed salad. 

I had the endive which was outrageous.  Roasted endive with a mushroom vinaigrette.  Some of the endives were stuffed with a bread mixture.  Not sure exactly what the mixture was but it was really incredible.

We opted for the one thing not on the menu for dinner which a dry aged muscovy duck roasted with lavender, honey, coriander and cumin seeds and peppercorns for two. 

The breast is sliced off the bone in front of you and then served with wild huckleberries and turnips. Amazing.  Perfectly roasted with one of the most flavorful crispy skins.  Loved the huckleberries too.  They exploded in your mouth.  The mixture of huckleberries which are like tart blueberries works perfect with the duck.  I couldn't help but wonder where the rest of that beautiful duck went.  I would have happily brought the rest home for lunch today. One of the best ducks ever.  Fred said there are only two other people who love duck as much as you;  your brother and your son. 

In between the dinner and dessert was a milk sorbet with honey inside and an orange blossom sauce.  I didn't love this.  Although interesting I found the taste was not something I could wrap my arms around.

Dessert we had to order at the beginning.  Fred went with the cheese plate which I always love after a delicious meal. 

I went with the hazelnut.  Hazelnut and pistachio gelatos.  Beautiful presentation…and I couldn't help but love the happy birthday bonus. 

I really love 11 Madison Park.  Truly a foodie's experience. 

Comments (Archived):

  1. atryon

    Joanne – Happy belated birthday. I first visited EMP for my birthday 3 years ago and have been looking for a reason to go back. I’ve been back frequently for special events – Share Our Strength’s Fall Harvest, Bluegrass during the Big Apple BBQ – but not for the full menu. Luckily they are on the “50 Best Restaurants in the World” list and I’m committed to visiting all 50 before my 50th birthday!

    1. Gotham Gal

      That is a great commitment. I love that!

  2. RichardF

    Happy Birthday – the duck looks awesome. Fred needs to invest in a company that can deliver smell over the net

    1. Gotham Gal

      Smell over the net would be a game changer

  3. ShanaC

    Happy birthday and yummy! May you have many more happy birthdays

  4. Kelley Boyd @msksboyd

    ♥¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪…Happy Belated Birthday♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ to you.♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪Happy Belated Birthday ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪ to you ♥ ♥ ♥Happy Birthday♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*…•♫♪ dear JoAnne ♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ ¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪…Happy Belated Birthday to YOU!♪♫•*¨*•.¸¸♥ And many morrrrreeee!¸¸.•*¨*•♫♪…

  5. William Mougayar

    Happy Birthday Joanne! Great pics.Fred should have extended your birthday to Toronto! I’m picking him up tomorrow morning at the airport.

    1. Gotham Gal

      I wish he had. I would have loved to come for a day and spend the night.We have good friends in Toronto. Alas. Next time!

      1. William Mougayar

        We’ll hold you to it…Similar to NYC, but in smaller. They say Toronto is like NY, run by the Swiss.

        1. Gotham Gal

          Definitely hold me to it

  6. TanyaMonteiro

    Happy (belated) Birthday. I read your restaurant reviews visually, this is one of the best so far.

    1. Gotham Gal

      Thanks Tanya. I am carrying a real camera in my bag these days vs theblackberry. Definitely makes for better pics.

  7. Sunchowder

    Happy Birthday to you!

  8. Al

    I agree that the experience at EMP is quite special. I had an amazing meal there last spring and the wine pairings were definitely a highlight – the only bummer is most of the producers are so small and even do things exclusively for the restaurant that the only way to have that wine again is to come back for dinner! Actually – maybe that is a clever marketing strategy :)I’m a pescatarian these days but when we were there we saw some people order the duck – the tableside slicing looked so lovely and the smell was tremendous.

    1. Gotham Gal

      I would have loved to buy some of the wines they served but most of theproducers probably only make a few cases. Impressive is that they findthem.The duck….still dreaming about it.