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Eleven Madison Park - WE LOVED IT!

theskyflyer Dec 21, 2007 03:30 PM

There have been recent threads by those who did not really care for EMP. That didn't deter us from going there and I am happy to report that we had a fabulous experience!

The four of us had dinner last night and we simply loved it. We had the gourmand menu for $145 which is about a 10 or 12 course meal. The (controversial) suckling pig was not included in the menu, but we requested if the chef would prepare it instead of the squab. No problem -- the pig was the last course before cheese. I can tell you that the pig is as rich, crispy, moist and as delicious as the one I tried at Atelier Joel Robuchon in Paris. It's probably second after 'babi guling' (suckling pig) in 'Ibu Oka' in Bali.

I especially liked the foie gras dish - its combination with pineapple was stunning. The lobster was another winning dish. The turbot was delicious!

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  1. Spiritchaser RE: theskyflyer Dec 21, 2007 03:46 PM

    We are so glad you liked it, we have much love for EMP after one of the greatest evenings ever last Saturday. I am still confused as to why so many people harsh on it.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Spiritchaser
      bgut1 RE: Spiritchaser Dec 22, 2007 12:39 PM

      I chalk it up to not being able to please all the people all the time. My meal a few months back was one of the best I've ever had.

      1. re: Spiritchaser
        Bob Martinez RE: Spiritchaser Dec 24, 2007 07:15 AM

        "I am still confused as to why so many people harsh on it."

        I guess because the restaurant can be inconsistent.

        We were at EMP on last year to celebrate my girlfriend's birthday. Except for one minor but unfortunate lapse the service was smooth and efficient.

        We ordered al la carte. The lobster amuse was delicate and interesting although nothing remarkable.

        My GF liked her foie gras terrine starter well enough. I ordered the potato gnocchi which would have been very good indeed except for the fact that they were served with 2 of the strongest tasting cured sardines I've ever encountered. They totally overwhelmed the gnocci where they came into direct contact; this dish was just badly conceived.

        My GF's s main -"Suckling Pig Confit with Cipollini Onions, Plum Chutney and Five Spice Jus," sounded wonderful on the menu. On the plate it was a bit underwhelming. We were sharing portions and I actually liked it better than her, a B+ to her B.

        My main - "Wild Atlantic Halibut “Piquée aux Truffes” with Crispy Potatoes and Watercress Emulsion" might have been good if it hadn't been overcooked to the point of being a bit chewy. I would have mentioned this to the waiter had he come around and inquired in the first few minutes after serving the food. He didn't appear for a good 10 minutes and while I normally would have gotten up and brought this to someone's attention it seemed like poor form for a birthday dinner. FWIW my GF liked the flavor of the dish - I couldn't get past the chewyness to give it a fair judgment.

        We ordered from the cheese assortment for dessert. These were simply outstanding. At the point the water took our dessert selections I mentioned the problem with the halibut and we were comped two glasses of very nice dessert wine.

        Aside from the waiter's 10 minute disappearance service was very good. The meal itself was a bit of a disappointment, especially in view of the price point and positive comments we'd read here and elsewhere.

        Oh well.

      2. FoodWine RE: theskyflyer Dec 22, 2007 12:47 PM

        Happy to hear that you loved it!
        I cannot wait to go back there.

        1. ellenost RE: theskyflyer Dec 22, 2007 05:13 PM

          Glad to hear you enjoyed EMP; I've always had a great time. I don't know why lately other CHs have been critical.

          1. p
            pork_buns RE: theskyflyer Dec 23, 2007 06:15 AM

            You've convinced me to give it a second shot. I love the space and I'm a Danny Meyer fan, but I dragged 3 friends there for brunch recently and the service and food were embaressingly bad.

            2 Replies
            1. re: pork_buns
              RGR RE: pork_buns Dec 23, 2007 11:36 AM

              pork buns,

              I'm curious. At brunch, did you order from the breakfast side of the menu or from the lunch side? We've been to EMP quite often for brunch and, to be honest, I would never bother with the breakfast dishes. We're there for Chef Humm's "cuisine," and the lunch dishes are delicious.

              With regard to service, I'm surprised to hear it was bad because we have never found service at any meal we've had there -- and we've had many -- to be less than exemplary. If you were experiencing problems with a particular server, you should definitely have brought them to the attention of one of the managers. I have no doubt that they would want to know about them. In fact, I'm currently reading Danny Meyer's book, "Setting the Table," and he makes it clear that *he* wants to hear about any problems patrons may encounter in his restaurants.

              1. re: RGR
                kathryn RE: RGR Dec 23, 2007 02:08 PM

                I went about two weeks ago and had a little of both -- my boyfriend really loved his eggs benedict with proscuitto and biscuits. They were excellent, with really great attention to detail regarding the biscuits. One of the best eggs benedict he's ever had, he said. I opted for a lunchier option and went for the butternut squash soup (amazingly creamy and with the best shrimp I've ever had -- as tender and sweet as good lobster) and salmon with dill and cucumber (great, subtly flavored, perfectly cooked). Perfect all around.

                Ditto that if you had a service problem, Danny Meyer would want to hear about it.

                FWIW, when I went the service was excellent.

            2. i
              idia RE: theskyflyer Dec 23, 2007 06:41 AM

              I like their lunch menu much more than their dinner menu (which is a bit too ambitious for my taste) .
              I notice that at lunch they offer scallops and roast chicken.
              If I wanted to order those at dinner (they are not offered) would they do it?

              5 Replies
              1. re: idia
                RGR RE: idia Dec 23, 2007 11:27 AM


                If the lunch menu pleases you more, why not just go for lunch rather than dinner?

                1. re: RGR
                  idia RE: RGR Dec 23, 2007 07:04 PM

                  If I could do that I obviously would but our plans include other friends for dinner.
                  (When I am actually able to do lunches they are more on the soup and salad or sandwich side.)
                  I guess I could call the restaurant and find out if they would make certain changes. I just thought maybe someone here might know.

                  1. re: idia
                    RGR RE: idia Dec 23, 2007 09:30 PM


                    When my husband and I did the Gourmand dinner tasting, there was one dish which would not work for me, and so they substituted another dish from the existing prix-fixe menu. They also take very seriously any allergies -- in fact, servers make it a point to ask if there are any -- and will adjust dishes accordingly. If that's not possible, they alert the person and request that he or she choose something else. So, they are willing to make adjustments. However, I've never asked for a lunch dish to be served at dinner, so I don't know if that's possible. But you should certainly call and inquire. The person to speak to is Laura Wagstaff, Mgr. of Guest Relations.

                    1. re: RGR
                      idia RE: RGR Dec 24, 2007 04:01 AM

                      Thank you RGR, I appreciate your help.

                      1. re: idia
                        RGR RE: idia Dec 24, 2007 05:33 AM

                        My pleasure, idia. :-) If you do call, I hope you'll post again with what you find out.

              2. livetotravel RE: theskyflyer Dec 24, 2007 09:39 AM

                I couldn't agree more! I've been to EMP again recently and everything from the time we walked in until we departed was just superb. It now occupies the top spot on my "affordable" restaurants in Manhattan list.

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