I’m crazy about fancy lunches. A fancy dinner – anyone can have. But lunch? Now that is a true luxury. A carefully planned indulgence that involved taking a solid three hours from the middle of the day to just…eat. Ahhh!
So it was last Wednesday that Justin and I settled into a nice corner table at Eleven Madison Park. Justin was at the bar by the time I arrived at noon, waiting for me with two glasses rosé (truly the best kind of friend, no?)
Lunch started with a parade of appetizers. Dreams of…
We oohed and ahhed over the dishware as much as the food itself. That sea urchin dish! And the tea cup! I was really superduperclose to stealing the tea cup and saucer set. Stunning and so simple. The only thing that could make that better is a matching tea pot.
Did I mention all this came before the bread service? Meet the ultimate cross between brioche and croissant. I first tried this bread in March when Pierre and I came for cocktails and nibbles at the bar. We enjoyed the bread so much that they sent us home with a quartet of the fresh rolls! Served warm with…
[photo from Justin]
And then it was kitchen time. We were so grateful to get a tour of the kitchen and…
[photo from Justin] …drink (or rather, eat) a Liquid Nitrogen Gin Cocktail with Apples, Frozen Meringue.
[photo from Justin] A delicious theater, setting the stage for lunch. The first course was yet to come.
The menu is structured like this. Pick for going down, and the dishes will be (somewhat) tailored to your preference if you have any requests. Justin went with the entire 3rd column: Octopus, Loup de Mer, Pork, and Plum. I stuck to the 4th column for the first three courses: Rabbit, Lobster, and Beef. For the last/dessert course, I opted for the choice on the 1st column: Sheep’s Cheese.
We stopped with the wine between the 2nd and 3rd courses, and tried a few of the house Soft Cocktails. Orange Julius was the clear winner! There’s honey and orange blossom water in there – so beautiful.
Post plum and cheese, we craved a warm drink just to round out the meal. Coffee or tea? They serve teas from In Pursuit of Tea…though I hear there will be some changes soon. Excited to see what the new tea menu will bring. The current prices range from $8-$12 a pot, but if you flip to the front of the drinks menu there’s a selection of three ‘tableside tea services‘ running up to $26 (for two people) for teas such as matcha.
Tableside Coffee: Siphon Pot: Finca La Clara, Costa Rica, Ecco Caffe. Coffee is served in the same teacup I lusted over at the start of lunch. Sadly enough, they’re custom-designed so buying one isn’t even an option. Alas, just one more reason to return!
A few last bites: Earl Grey Macarons with Chocolate and Blueberry, Raspberry Pâtes de Fruits, and Sesame-Honey Crisps. And then we were out the door (with a gifted mason jar of toasted coconut-laced granola), back to reality.
Eleven Madison Park
11 Madison Avenue
New York, NY 10010