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Eleven Madison or Degustation--please help me decide.

f
fdb Mar 26, 2009 02:50 PM

I will be in NY next week for opera, theater and chow!

I'll be having lunches at Le Bernardin, Jean Georges, Momofuku Saam Bar, and Katz's.

I have reservation at Annisa for dinner one night.

Now I need another dinner.

I can't decide between Eleven Madison Park or Degustation.

Is EMP too similar to LB and JG? Should I do Degustation for variety? I like fresh ingredients and innovative cooking. Which one should I pick?

  1. d
    drumwine Mar 26, 2009 03:06 PM

    Go for Degustation....mainly for the variety factor. Love 11 Mad. but there is a parallel with JG.
    Degustation fills out your total dining experience here.

    1. p
      Pan Mar 26, 2009 03:10 PM

      I used to like EMP before Humm took over. Since then, the one time I went, the food was merely good and actually cost more than Degustation, and the service was extremely slow. The food is much more interesting, in any case, at Degustation, the service is great, and the atmosphere is much more intimate, though the room at EMP is interesting. I don't think it's a close call at all.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Pan
        f
        fdb Mar 26, 2009 05:38 PM

        The food on EMP web site looks so pretty though. I can't seem to find a web site for Degustation. Do they take reservation?

        1. re: fdb
          k
          kathryn Mar 26, 2009 09:55 PM

          Degustation does not have a web site. They do take reservations. I highly recommend them and asking if you can sit in front of Wesley (assuming he is there). It is a tiny restaurant that seats about 15 maximum, and they crank out some great food with a tiny staff.

          1. re: fdb
            p
            Pan Mar 26, 2009 11:06 PM

            As Kathryn said, they don't have a website, but I did a little Google image searching for you. Here are a couple of places where you can see some Degustation "food porn":

            http://crumbs-nyc.blogspot.com/2007/03/flirting-with-spain-degustation.html

            http://www.flickr.com/photos/83096974...

        2. l
          lanadai Mar 26, 2009 06:44 PM

          I like Eleven Madison and Degustation over Annisa. You can try Corton too, which I like over JG and LB, food is more creative, I don't think they're open for lunch though.

          1 Reply
          1. re: lanadai
            k
            kathryn Mar 26, 2009 09:56 PM

            OP said they wanted another dinner... Corton is definitely open for dinner. However, if OP is coming next week, it's unlikely they'll be able to get into Corton. They have been quite popular so far this year.

          2. r
            rrems Mar 26, 2009 07:58 PM

            I have been to both a number of times, and though I like EMP very much, I get a craving for Degustation that I don't get for EMP. No, they don't have a website, but just go and order the 10-course tasting for $75. You won't be sorry. And yes, EMP is probably too similar to LB and JG. Degustation is a unique experience.

            1 Reply
            1. re: rrems
              s
              sethd Mar 27, 2009 05:04 AM

              How is emp similar to LB and JG? Two are the best restaurants in the city the other is EMP.

            2. f
              fdb Mar 27, 2009 12:10 AM

              Thanks everyone for your input. I'm sold on Degustation. I'm a visual person so the "food porn" helps. Will call in the morning to see if I can grab a reservation. If not, I'm thinking maybe do an Italian. I can get Batali in LA and Vegas so I'd like something different. Has anyone been to Sfoglia?

              1 Reply
              1. re: fdb
                f
                foodwhisperer Mar 29, 2009 10:40 AM

                EMP and Degustation have nothing in common. Its almost like should I go to Ippudo or Jean Georges. Degustation doesnt have tables it has small plates with spanish influence. The dishes taste great. The croquettas being my favortie. EMP is a big place with a nice prix fix dinner, gourmet dining in a classy setting. Big difference but you'll be happy in either ,,unless of course you want to sit at a table them you need to pick EMP

              2. g
                GeraldineNY Mar 30, 2009 07:03 AM

                Eleven Madison Park and Degustation are two very different spots but I would absolutely go with Degustation- what an experience! Eleven Madison Park is refined, large, and feels very "proper". Degustation, on the other hand, is cozy, intimate, and the ingredients are very fresh and inovative. You are eating lunch at spots similar to Elevan Madison Park, so indulge in Degustation for din! Enjoy..

                1. NellyNel Mar 30, 2009 07:59 AM

                  I loved Degustation - It was an experience...
                  Here is my detailed review - along with one other
                  I can't re-read it because I know i'll want to go back ASAP!

                  Cheers

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: NellyNel
                    k
                    KTinNYC Mar 30, 2009 08:09 AM

                    Here is NellyNel's report. I think she omitted the link from her post.

                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/6022...

                    1. re: KTinNYC
                      NellyNel Mar 30, 2009 08:16 AM

                      Thanks KT - I forgot to add it!!

                  2. f
                    fdb Apr 8, 2009 01:48 AM

                    Thanks for all your inputs. Sadly I didn't make it to either one but will save for next trip. I did have a great time eating through the city though:

                    Sakagura (Japanese)--late night--really love this place, everything was just great
                    Sfoglia (Italian)--lunch--had a very delicious vitello tonnato, pasta was great but sauce a little too salty
                    Momofuku Ssam Bar (New Korean/American)--lunch $25 prix fixe, not a lot of choice but pretty delicious--yummy pork buns & blondie pie
                    Le Bernardin (French Seafood)--pre-theater--delicious 7-course seafood tasting
                    Jean-Georges (French)--lunch--lunch prix fixe was a steal ($28 for 2-course, $14 each additional course)
                    Kum Gang San (Korean)--post theater--flavors are kind of mild for Korean food
                    Rosa Mexicano (Mexican)--post theater--best guacamole made at table side
                    Annisa (New American)--dinner--loved this place!!!
                    Fusha (Fusion)--post theater--decent drinks
                    Bouchon Bakery (scone, croissant)--snack
                    Dean & Deluca (cookies, bread, doughnut)--snack
                    Zabar's (panini, smoked mussels, olives)--snack--smoked mussels were very very good
                    Moishe's Bake Shop (hamantaschen)--snack--best hamantaschen I've ever tasted
                    Amai Tea & Bake Shop(tea and sweets)--after lunch tea and the most delicious green tea cupcake
                    Alice's Tea Cup (tea and breakfast)--brunch--blueberry corn meal pancake was really good
                    Minamoto Kitchoan (imported Japanese sweets)--snack--expensive but good
                    Cafe Angelique (croissants)--snack--very delicious
                    Pinisi Cafe (red velvet cupcakes)--snack--stumbled upon this place on the way to Katz's--yummy "chocolate on fire" and "rose water red velvet"
                    Katz's (pastrami on rye with mustard)--had lunch and brought 2 lbs back to LA--this is a must-do for me whenever I'm in NY

                    NY is such a wonderful city for culinary adventures that I really can't wait to go back. I would put EMP and Degustation on my priority next time. Would also love to explore EV and LES more thoroughly.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: fdb
                      NellyNel Apr 8, 2009 11:40 AM

                      Glad you enjoyed NYC!
                      You made it to some places that I havent tried yet!

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