NYC: Lunch: Eleven Madison Park

Wednesday, August 25, 2010 9 No tags Permalink 0

Beet Marshmallows and Foie Gras & Jelly on Black Pepper Crackers

Last week, Shann, Smo, Darien and I met for lunch at Eleven Madison Park. It was the first time the four of us got together for a “fancy” meal during the day. The occasion? To celebrate moving into new apartments! I’m still in the East Village, three blocks south from the previous apartment, so the move process was thankfully not too big of a production ;)

Our usual standby restaurant when dining together is Grand Sichuan on St Marks. It has never failed us and everyone leaves stuffed and happy. Soup dumplings, cumin beef, beef chow funn, wontons in hot oil, and cucumbers with scallion sauce. Family-style dining, easy, and most importantly, delicious!

Gougeres

But this time we decided to do something nicer. And what’s nicer than lunch at Eleven Madison Park? Luckily we made it just before the menu changes. They’re doing away with the $28 for 2-course lunch and replacing it with $56 for 3-course and $95 for an 8-course tasting lunch. Cheee, talk about a price hike…

French Baguette and Olive Ficelle

I love the $28 for two-course deal and have posted about it in the past here. I don’t think I will be returning for the $56 lunch…but we’ll see about that. Maybe I’ll take the money “saved” from not doing EMP lunches, and go to Blue Hill at Stone Barns or Per Se, two places that have been on my mental list for a long time.

Fregola Sarda

Or maybe I’ll try to squeeze in another $28 lunch before the price hike takes place! On to lunch! The meal began with Beet Marshmallows and Foie Gras & Jelly on Black Pepper Crackers (pictured at top). The beet marshmallow left this tangy sort of after taste I couldn’t quite agree with, but it was texturally fantastic (miles better than the famed Jean George marshmallows). Then there were warm Gougeres and of course their French Baguette and Olive Ficelle.

Seared Diver Scallop

Shann started off with a single Seared Diver Scallop with Succotash, Watercress and Red Pepper Nage while Darien had the Fregola Sarda with Octopus, Chickpeas and Fennel. Smo and I both went with the…

Tagliolini with Alaskan King Crab

…Tagliolini with Alaskan King Crab, Black Pepper and Lemon. The pasta dishes at EMP are always just perfect like that, and this was no different. A kiss of dill in the bright, buttery pasta, a delicate tangle of tagliolini. So simply composed. The last time I had the tagliolini was when they did it in a carbonara with guanciale. I always find myself enjoying the appetizer dishes significantly more than then mains.

Herb Roasted Colorado Lamb

And what were the mains? The St. Canut Farm Cochon de Lait with Bing Cheries, Sweet Onion and Mustard for myself. Shann, Smo and Darien all got the Herb Roasted Colorado Lamb with Eggplant, Cumin and Yogurt. I was so focused on getting a photo of Shann’s lamb that I completely forgot to take a photo of my own dish! Man…that’s when you know you’re losing it! ;) Has anyone had the whole roast chicken for two here? That is the one dish I really would like to try, but on all visits to EMP, my offers of going in on the whole chicken has been turned down. Everyone wants something more unusual, turning their nose up at just roast chicken. Sigh, one day, one day…

Kouign Amann

For dessert we picked Kouign Amann (additional $12), the ever buttery Breton cake from the dessert trolley. They cut an extra big slice knowing that we were sharing between four. One person would seriously have a heart attack trying to finish that slice on their own! On the side: sour cherry jam and creme fraiche.

Kouign Amann, another shot!

Layers upon layers of golden buttery sweet, the exterior caramelized to a crisp. It got me all excited for our upcoming vacation to Brittany, where hopefully I’ll start every morning with a wedge of kouign amann.

Eleven Madison Park

11 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10010
(212) 889-0905

9 Comments
  • K and S
    August 25, 2010

    $26 wow! but looks so worth it!

  • Ricky
    August 25, 2010

    no macarons?

  • Kathy YL Chan
    August 26, 2010

    Hi Kat!Yeah, "fancy" lunch indeed! But very much worth it!Hi Ricky!Not this time :[

  • Alice Meichi Li
    August 26, 2010

    Hey Kathy — do you know when the price hike will happen? I want to get a lunch in there before it goes up too.

  • Kathy YL Chan
    August 26, 2010

    Hi Alice!I was told the changes start on September 7th, but you should call to double check…I know they're going to be closed for a short period before that for minor renovations as well! :)

  • anonymous
    August 26, 2010

    Kathy -Mmmm…Maki and I went for lunch for our birthdays recently too and had some of the dishes you photographed!! :-) Excellent, but I like Gramercy Tavern a bit better…and agree on the tang of the marshmallows…ours were carrot, but also a bit strange. Good to know about the price hike…Ariel

  • The Pretender
    August 26, 2010

    You must try the chicken. Try to get it before the menu changes (tomorrow, Friday, is the last day it seems). Many solo regulars (including myself) are well-known to constantly complain about dining alone and not being able to have the chicken.I'm also concerned about the price hike, but that probably just means I'll eat there half as often, which is still pretty often. They remain tight-lipped, but from what I gather, the value will still be there, even with the higher price.Really enjoy your work on SENY, especially the lunch for one.Cheers,http://ramblingsandgamblings.blogspot.com

  • Kathy YL Chan
    August 27, 2010

    Hi Ariel!Aw nice! Hmm carrot sounds interesting… Yes, I imagine I'd be replacing some of my EMP lunches with Gramercy Tavern Lunches after this price hike takes place :)Hi The Pretender!Ahh, I wish I had time to try the chicken! Am leaving for Boston tomorrow…oh well, one day I shall try it! If I can't find anyone to split it with me, I just might order the whole chicken for myself anyways! Am so happy to hear that you like my work on SENY!! ^_^

  • Joyce
    August 27, 2010

    So sad, they will have the new lunch menu when I am there in September :( I think I may try the Jean Georges prix fixe instead though I've seen mixed reviews.

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