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Jul 15, 2009 08:02 PM

Eleven Madison

Hi, this is more of a question about how to find old posts... i'm going to eleven madison with wife and little kid on friday to celebrate my birthday. i'm trying to figure out what dishes are "can't miss'es" and how i should be ordering, i.e. summer menu, chef's menu or just the 3 course.

I know the pros on this board say to go run a thread search. but when i try to search for "eleven madison", all i get is a jumble of threads, many of which barely mention my search phrase. what am i doing wrong? beacuse it seems that others are often able to pull back entire threads devoted to a single restaurant.

So, in summary, any advice on a) the restaurant and b) hte search function are much appreciated. thanks!

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  1. Fatty:

    Try "EMP" which is what most hounds use.

    1. Hey, FattyDumplin,

      Regulars on this board know that EMP is our favorite NYC restaurant, so I'm happy to provide some guidance.

      The "chef's menu," as you call it, is the 11-course Gourmand. Unpublished, it is composed of whatever dishes Chef Humm decides to send out. Thus, you need to have an eclectic palate. And the entire table must order it.

      The seasonal tasting is 5 courses. It, too, must be ordered by everyone at the table. (Note: There is also a 5-course pig tasting.)

      When it comes to the 3-course menu, two dishes are Chef Humm's signatures: the suckling pig and the duck for two. While the suckling pig is delicious, I think the duck is outstanding and not-to-be-missed! Plus, it is now being carved tableside, which I'm sure you will find entertaining.

      From the apps menu, the three that I would most recommend are the Roulade of Hawaiian Prawns, the Tête de Cochon, and the Foie Gras.

      For dessert, my two favorites are the Tahitian Vanilla Soufflé and "Eleven Madison’s Symphony No. 2": Chocolate Tart with Caramel and Maldon Sea Salt.

      In the end, regardless of my suggestions, my advice is to go for dishes on the menu that appeal to *you* most. No matter what you choose, you are in for a major treat!

      Let me know If you have other questions re: the menu or about anything else.

      Happy Birthday and Bon Appetit!


      1 Reply
      1. re: RGR

        Seconding the suckling pig and chocolate and sea salt tart!

        PS I searched for "Eleven Madison Park" with the quotation marks, and under Sort By, I choose Relevance instead of Newest. You'll get more specific search results with entire threads devoted to one restaurant.

      2. EMP is one of my favorite restaurants. Glad to see the sentiment shared elsewhere. I'm from LA and not many people here have heard of it. And as much as i try to convince them they don't go....sorry for going off tangent.

        For a family 5 course/3 course is better. I second the duck.

        4 Replies
        1. re: skim12345

          My wife and I just went to EMP on Friday July 10th for our anniversary (See my NYC review I posted yesterday).

          We had the three course I had the Hawaiian Prawns, the Elysian Field Lamb and the Tahitian Vanilla Souffle and have to say it was all fantastic. My wife had the Gnocchi, the Suckling Pig and the Sympony No. 2 Chocolate tart and she also thought it was fantastic.

          So basically what I am saying is that I don't really think you can go wrong . . . order what suits your tastes but do try the Tahitian Vanilla Souffle for dessert.

          Have a great time, EMP is an amazing restaurant

          1. re: Chillax

            can you add on additional courses? I want to try the duck for 2, but my wife doesn't eat duck. so i basically have to take 2 portions of the duck and trade her one of my selections.

            yes, yes, i know its my b-day and she should comply, but i'm a very fair husband...

            thanks to all for the help.

            1. re: FattyDumplin

              You do not have to "trade." They will certainly be willing to serve the duck for two just for you (See below.), and you can add on a course for your wife. If you aren't able to finish all the duck, they will gladly "doggie box" the leftovers for you.

              Here's the link to a post by one of our regulars, steakrules85, describing his experience ordering the EMP duck for two just for himself:

              1. re: RGR

                Thanks for the shoutout RGR. Yes, Fatty Dumplin you can indeed order the duck for just yourself- they actually served me a smaller duck since I was dying to try it and did not have another willing partner to get it for 2. They also allowed me to substitute the signature suckling pig for my appetizer course. The staff is truly and incredibly accomodating. Service is flawless and still one of the best dining experiences of my life. As far as food recs I would definitely agree with the duck (best I have ever had), suckling pig, beef, lamb as mains. For apps, I sampled the gnocchi and the prawns that my dining companions decided to order and they were also delicious indeed.

                For dessert their souffles are great. They have changed the dessert menu since I was there but rest assured all of their confectionary creations are wonderful.

                Enjoy and please report back!

        2. The reason you did not get good results from your search is you did not put "Eleven Madison" in quotation marks. As in any search engine, if you just put in the words, it will return anything containing any of those words, whereas if you put it in quotes, it will give you the whole phrase first.

          2 Replies
          1. re: rrems

            that helps, but it's also a function of EMP being so frequently mentioned in random threads... so as Kathryn pointed out, the sort by relevance is key.

            Thanks all for the help. cannot wait for dinner tonight.

            1. re: FattyDumplin

              Thanks all for the info. Very good, but not great meal on Friday.

              My wife and I had:
              Ricotta gnocchi,
              Prawns roulade,
              Roasted halibut,
              The Duck

              Overall, i thought the kitchen had a heavy hand on the salt, particularly the halibut and a chilled lobster bisque we were served - the bisque was wonderfully aromatic, you could taste and smell the lobster, but it also reminded me of seawater in how salty it was.

              I really enjoyed the gnocchi - a simple dish, but so enjoyable. I ate most of the pillowy goodness off my wife's plate. Her halibut I was less enamored with - nothing really wrong, but it was just unmemorable.

              The shrimp roulade was superbly executed. The mayo base was just enough to not overwhlem the prawns and the avocado melded perfectly. But it wasn't better or all that different than certain specialty rolls i've had at my favorite sushi places.

              And the duck was cooked exactly as I like - medium rare with crispy skin, and I really enjoyed the confit. And, it was still tender the next day when i reheated a few of hte slices. But the flavoring was a letdown. I thought it could have used a tinge more sweetness, which i thought you woudl get with the blueberry / corn infused sauce. And i couldn't really discern any heat from the sichuan peppercorns. Frankly, I'd prefer a peking duck anytime.

              I can't say that i didn't enjoy each component of the meal, but nothing blew me away. I loved the crispy sweetbread cornet and manila clam tart we received as part of a quartet of tastings and the cheese gougeres are yummy - my little kid had 4 or 5 of them himself. In fact, the sweetbread was my favorite part of the meal.

              All-in all, it was a great night, because it was our first fine dining experience with my son (16 months), and we had a great time until the last 20 minutes when he got a bit grouchy. And i've always wanted to try 11 madison, but, I'd probably not return for awhile, simply because there are too many other new places to try and if i'm going to repeat restaurants it will be to some of my faves, like locanda verde or scarpetta.