Eleven Madison Park RW Report
I ordered the strawberry gazpacho, lemon gnocchi and apricot clafouti. My friend had the big-eye tuna, roasted chicken and chocolate melloux. Neither of us liked the gazpacho, tuna or the gnocchi. I honestly don't know what it was about these three dishes but they simply were not enjoyable. There was a lot of subtle flavoring but I found particulary the gnocchi and the gazpacho to be sort of ambigious. There was no boldness to these dishes, nothing to really make a mark. Furthermore there was a sort of wierd aftertaste with the gnocchi that I really did not enjoy. We couldn't figure out what it was...maybe squash. The tuna was just dull. Standard tuna carpaccio with some oil and asparagus. As for the gazpacho-the flavors just didn't suit me. I know other people love it, and I'm pretty sure it is just a difference in palatte.
...On to the good stuff. The chicken was very tasty. Perfectly cooked, and the sauces were very nice. I wasn't wow-ed, and I've definintely had better roasted chicken (at Goblin Market for example) but it was still very yummy. Both of the desserts were awesome. The chocolate one was delicious and the clafouti was excellent. They were the highlights of the meal.
Service was very solid. They seem to have an army of waiters/bussers/water-guys/crumb-sweepers/etc. Very attentive (my only complaints-I had to ask for bread because we had already begun our appetizers and no one had provided any yet. The butter was in a very impressive container but was frozen solid).
Overall, I must say I was disappointed. Perhaps its just not my kind of food. Although I have always loved the other Danny Meyer restaurants (GT in particular).
We had lunch there today-actually the same dishes as the OP, and thought it was all extremely tasty. We had a late reservation (1:45) and didn't find any service problems.
The wine arrived in a timely manner, the bread was refilled, the butter wasn't frozen...
Of course, right before we were seated I saw Mr Meyer walk in...that may improve service.
I had lunch at 11MP today. What AN EXTREME DISAPPOINTMENT! I had the gazpacho -- can not appreciate that at all. My friend had the salad - very pretty on the plate, but very ordinary. My chicken was tasty, his gnocchi was allright. I had the chocolate dessert and found it to be just okay. The panna cotta that my friend ordered had a cough medicine syrup taste to it. Service was spotty - no bread arrived until appetizer was half consumed - the butter was not frozen like others have complained.
I was disappointed with the lack of choices - only three each, as opposed to 6 to 8 last time. (GT this time around has 8 options for each appetizer and main course, and maybe 6 desserts). I didn't find the quality of the dishes to be the usual 11MP standard. I was surprised there was no gift certificate given (maybe I am spoiled for having received them the last few times) -- but I am puzzled that if GT gives them out, why can't 11MP.
I have another reservation at 11MP next week and will mostly cancel it. The lunch is still a good value, but I think it's definitely downhill from what 11MP used to be during RW.
I was also there for lunch, on Monday. I agree with the previous posters- very disappointing!! service was OK, not as attentive as it should have been. we waited quite awhile for someone to take our order, and much longer for bread. I noticed the butter for the bread was ice cold as well, which was also strange to me. I had the salad with almonds to start, which was fine, nothing exceptional (the plating was pretty though). The gnocchi was my main, which i didnt' like at all- as others said, it was bland, and had a strange taste. I thought maybe it was the lemon, or the bottarga, but neither of these ingredients should have given it an off taste. i suppose the texture was fine, but really nothing good about the dish at all. I had the panna cotta for dessert, which was just 'eh'- the panna cotta looked like it had lots of vanilla bean in it, but i hardly tasted any. and as a previous poster mentioned, the sauce it was surrounded by definitely tasted bad, almost like cough syrup. not nice at all. the berries were descent though. the service was fine, but i've been here a few times for lunch, and have never had such insipid dishes.
Sorry if this is becoming repetitive but I need to chime in with the disappointment. I went for lunch on Friday. The olive bread was sort of stale--very, very chewy!--and I thought too salty. The tuna starter was, as mollyjeanette said, very insipid--they must be trying to keep costs down by using bits and pieces rather than satisfying chunks. The chicken was extremely tough and not particularly flavourful, although the peas were quite tasty and a very pretty shade of green! My friend's salmon wasn't particularly exciting, either--she said she "felt like she was eating out of a bathtub," what with all the foam. I wish I had read all of your postings before I ordered the panna cotta--, the sauce was basically coloured water, and I thought the vanilla flavour was too strong.
Service was somewhat slow--I saw a lot of servers wandering around with utensils, dishes, as though they were unsure where they went. Granted, this was Friday around 1pm, and the restaurant was full.
I went to EMP for RW last winter, and it was superb--I really hope this is just a temporary glitch in quality. (I didn't get a gift certificate this time or last winter--maybe EMP doesn't give them out during RW?)
I actually posted in another thread (about GT RW lunch) and I had a similar reaction to my EMP experience. Regular hounds probably know that I rave about EMP for dinners and tasting menus, but I was quite disappointed by my lunch. The tuna was the worst course and I would say it was probably one of the worst tuna tartare I ever had (mine was served in "islands" of tuna tartare, not carpaccio). The entrees were fine. Noticed that the next table, just like what you mentioned, had no bread until half way through the appetizers. Butter was ice cold.
I hope this was just a one-off incident and they will address these problems asap as I have always love EMP!