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Mar 24, 2010 12:14 PM

EMP tasting menu--seasonal or gourmand?

Hello all. I am going to Eleven Madison Park next week for the first time, to celebrate a new job. Am torn between the blowout Gourmand (11 courses?) and the Seasonal (7 courses?) tasting menus. Price is not really the issue, it's more about whether we'll feel overwhelmed/stuffed with all the food if we go Gourmand.
Your views much appreciated.

Eleven Madison Park
11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

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  1. Regulars on this board know that EMP is our favorite NYC restaurant. Thus, we have had many 11-course Gourmands. Chef Humm is a master at portion control, so I never have a problem with feeling over-stuffed when we're done. However, how much you drink is a factor. I don't drink much (one glass at most), but my husband does like to pair wines with the meal. He used to pair with every course, but no longer. Too filling! Instead, he now does pairings with about half the courses, and that works perfectly for him.

    Photos of our most recent 11-course Gourmand can be viewed here:

    Best of luck on your new job! Enjoy EMP and Bon Appetit!

    2 Replies
    1. re: RGR

      having had the same exact menu as RGR except I had veal cheeks instead of sweet breads....

      I have to say I did not like the quail dish (my quail was a bit dry and the medjool date had a terrible, sticky taste) and the frogs legs dish wasn't very good either.
      I also particularly don't like salmon or caviar so the first dish was just okay for me. Lastly the chocolate dessert was just okay.

      So my point...ask to make substitutions to the 7 based on what you prefer.

      The lobster is AMAZING. and I was extremely stuffed by the end of my meal with little to drink. So I suggest 7 course and make a couple substitutions. (dessert and frogs leg dish in my opinion)

      1. re: wreckers00

        Just to note that with the marking of spring on the calendar, the menu usually begins to change. So, it is possible that when chowbie goes to EMP, some of the dishes on both the seasonal and the Gourmand menu might be different.

    2. On a related note, during lunch at EMP today our server mentioned their roast chicken for two (with truffles and foie gras) offered during dinner. I didn't see the dish on the online menu and was wondering whether the dish can be included in the tasting menus as a substitution or supplement.

      The six course Gourmand at lunch was dazzling. I'm thinking of returning for dinner to sample more of Chef Humm's offerings.

      8 Replies
      1. re: fm1963

        The "Four Story Hill Farm Poularde, Roasted with Meyer Lemon, Rosemary and Black Truffles (for two)" is listed on the 3-course section of the dinner menu under "Meat and Poultry."

        Menu (Scroll down.):

        We've had the Blue Foot, which was prepared the same way.


        The problem with including the chicken for two in the Gourmand or even in the seasonal tasting is portion size, i.e., it would be too filling. As you can see from the photos, the amount of breast meat is substantial. Plus, the dark meat is also served, but in a separate bowl.

        1. re: RGR

          Ah, poularde, of course. Definitely must return for that, as well as the tasting. Thanks for the links.

          1. re: RGR

            Agreed. We had this as a substitution on the Gourmand menu and could not finish it. Nor did we have room for dessert.

            1. re: chewbie

              chewbie, I hope you took home whatever you couldn't finish. Chef Humm's cuisine makes for fabulous leftovers. :)

              1. re: RGR

                I absolutely did. The poullard. Almost all of it. The wife and I had it the next day and, yes, it was still wonderful. I want to return to EMP when the duck for two is on the menu. I've heard that it's excellent.

                1. re: chewbie

                  Yes, Chef Humm's duck for two was in a class of its own. Fantastic! However, I don't think you will be seeing it on the menu again -- at least, not anytime soon. The menu is not especially large, so It and the also popular sucking pig were removed so that Chef Humm has room to create new sensational dishes.

                  1. re: RGR

                    I am still so bummed to hear the duck will be gone from the menu for some time. Best duck in the world.

                    1. re: RGR

                      I'm really bummed about the duck not being on the menu too! Man, wish we would've gone back while it was on the menu. It was one of the best (if not the best) duck dish I've ever had.

          2. We love EMP. LOVE LOVE LOVE it. Now that we're back in town it's one of the first stops on our itinerary.

            That being said, we ended our last trip here with a Gourmand, and ended up leaving really underwhelmed. I don't want to go so far as disappointed, but there really seemed to be a disconnect between the experiences we'd had with other menus versus it. I'm not sure why.

            That being said, the Roast Chicken is my favorite preparation, anywhere. It is like nectar from the gods, and I will beg beg beg them to make it for us if it's not on their menu any longer. It's really, simply put, heavenly.

            1. Just did the Gourmand about a month ago, and yes we were stuffed. I hardly touched my second desert and had to walk home because I thought a cab on that stomach would be a baaaad idea. However, it was really great. There's really not a savory dish that I would have wanted to miss. We did not match wines -- just a cocktail, a bottle of white, and one glass of red near the end for the heartier savory courses.

              If you're really concerned about feeling spry after, go with the Seasonal, but if you want to go all out for this special occasion (and you don't think you'll be back soon), go for the Gourmand.