11 Madison Park
- Jeff Dec 26, 2000 08:42 AM
I'm going to 11 Madison Park this week, made reservation a month ago. any comments?
I was at EMP for dinner on Saturday the 23d, andc we had a very good meal. The only starters we had were a simple green salad (a little salty, but fine) and their wild mushroom soup, which is really delicious. For mains, we ordered arctic char, hangar steak, and venison, all of which were quite good. The desserts are excellent: we had the lemon assiette, which is a tart lemon tart, warm lemon crepes, and lemon ice cream, and is always good; the crepe souffle with poached pears and pastry cream; and the cookies and confections plate, which is not the standard plate of biscotti, but a great assortment of tiny cookies, pastries, and candies. The petit fours were rich chocolates and tart fruit jellies. We had wine by the glass; the wine list is almost all French, and they have a nice by-the-glass selection. New since I was last there is that they now do 3 oz. and 6 oz. pours, so if you're ordering by the glass you can try more wines. The only thing I've ever really been disappointed with at EMP was the skate Grenobloise, which is a signature dish there; I thought it was boring.
I think you're in for a terrific time. 11 Madison is one of Danny Meyer's restaurants, so you know the service is going to be top-notch. The food is also among the best in the city.
If I had to come up with a complaint about 11 Madison, it would be that it is kind of cold (especially in comparison with his other restaurants), with its very high vaulted ceilings and all the marble. But others like that very quality, so you can judge for yourself. I prefer Tabla (right next door), partly because it is a more intimate space and the use of the warm colors is more appealing to me.
But, having said that, let me suggest that you arrive early at 11 Madison so you can have a drink at the bar. The bar is a relatively small area, but it affords you a chance to look over the restaurant and get a closer view of the staff and how they work together. You can also take the time at the bar to inspect the wine list and the menu, if you like. You can even try to spot a desirable table and then see if you can convince the maitre d' to seat you there.
Love to hear what you think afterward.
I dined at 11 Madison Park the month it opened and was not impressed. I had a similar experience at Danube. I've since concluded that one simply cannot judge a restaurant until it's at least three months old and has had a chance to hit its stride and find its groove (have I missed any cliches?).
That said - I returned to 11 Madison about six weeks ago. The two of us really enjoyed it. We chose a five course tasting menu and had the sommelier pair wines with the food. He made some really excellent choices.
We especially enjoyed the tuna tartar, the beef shank and foie gras terrine, the artic char with truffle sauce and the filet de boeuf. We didn't especially like the desserts we chose - but the lemon plate and the chocolate souffle (desserts we didn't choose) looked good.