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Eleven Madison Park for lunch, what dish do you recommend to order?

Have reservations at EMP for lunch for the first time. What would you order??

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

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  1. When do you plan to dine? Their menu tends to be pretty seasonal and given that spring is here, might be changing somewhat.

    Here is a fairly recent thread:

    1 Reply
    1. re: kathryn

      This coming Monday. And thanks for the thread!

    2. Marla,

      We had lunch at EMP earlier this week. The menu has already begun to change, and there are some wonderful new dishes on it. Are you doing the 2 for $28 or the lunch Gourmand?

      Photos can be viewed here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

      11 Replies
      1. re: RGR

        Awesome pics. So do they give you all the little extras if you order the 2 for 28? You guys had a lot more than 2 items + cheese. Wondering what a lunch there realistically would cost pre booze.

        1. re: jgradieoakes

          Thanks for the compliment about the photos, jgradieoakes!

          Yes, the little extras are standard. Of course, bread and butter are also included. I didn't take photos of them this time, but here's what they look like:


          With regard to cost, presuming there are two of you, 2 courses + dessert from the tart cart would be $58 + $24. So, $82 + beverages, 9% tax & 20% tip.

          1. re: RGR

            Would I be seated for lunch in jeans?

            1. re: daffyduck

              The web site used to state:

              We ask that you wear proper attire. No shorts, t-shirts, or sneakers are allowed.

              But I can no longer find that line. Your best bet is to call and ask them directly.

              1. re: daffyduck

                I had lunch there a couple of weeks ago and saw quite a few patrons in jeans - shouldn't be a problem.

                1. re: daffyduck

                  Absolutely no problem wearing jeans. And I've even seen sneakers.

                  1. re: RGR

                    Thanks, I had a really good lunch today. I think it's best to go into EMP sans sneakers, jeans, t-shirts, etc. I wasn't dressed horribly but I did stand out in jeans. I was a really big fan of the veal sweetbreads! followed by the lamb with mustard seeds and the seared salmon. The asparagus salad wasn't very good. I also really didn't like the amuse bouches, especially the carrot marshmellow. I actually thought it was bad. =\. I tried a trolley of all their tart desserts lol. None of them were that great but my favorites were the chocolate ganache tart it's very simple and rich but divine. i'm not even a big chocolate fan. their lemon meringue pie was the best lemon meringue pie i have ever had, it was just awesome. but the other three tarts i thought were a little weak (the apple, pine nuts\ricotta, and the mango linzer.

                    1. re: daffyduck

                      Funny you mention the carrot marshmallow amuse-gueule. I did not enjoy it either. Texture was fine, taste not so much. In fact, that and the foie gras macaron were the only things I didn't like. They were both too sweet-not my preference when starting out a meal.

                      Everything else was stellar.

                      1. re: Splendid Wine Snob

                        yeah seriously lol. i was so nervous about my meal after eating that marshmellow. my date almost spit it out. too bad shes one of those health freaks, so she ordered the asparagus salad and salmon. ive gotta go back, im really eyeing that pork belly!

                2. re: RGR

                  Thanks! I might just bring in your pics and say "please give me this".

            2. I loved the sweetbreads. The menu has indeed already changed slightly (I was there last Thursday). Everyone in our party was happy with everything-it was all delicious. The standouts were a butternup squash soup infused with a shellfish stock and prawns (no longer on the menu), scallops, bone marrow crusted tenderloin, and the cochon de lait.

              I'm eyeing that farm egg with aspargus veloute and Oregon morels on the menu and drooling just thinking about it. I would also be curious to see what wine they pair it with!

              I have to say that this was one of the best dining experiences I've had in a long time. It was truly the whole package-food, service, ambiance. The staff understand the word hospitality, and look genuinely happy to be working there. To say the service is professional is perhaps an understatement. I look forward to dining there in the future. A big thanks to RGR for all the pics and reviews. I can't wait to see how this restaurant and chef Humm evolves...

              And if you are a wine drinker you are in for a treat. The wine pairings and service were better than the esteemed Le Bernardin, IMHO. Jennifer Jaco was brilliant with the wine service, and Daniel Dirth fantastic as our captain.


              24 Replies
              1. re: Splendid Wine Snob

                You're very welcome, SWS! So glad to hear that you had such a wonderful experience.

                As noted above, we just had another sensational lunch at EMP, and we will be working our way through new menu items as Chef Humm continues to incorporate them.

                And I totally agree that the staff does provides all guests with the highest level of hospitality, and every staff member is truly happy to be working there.

                1. re: RGR

                  I just saw your picture of the potato cream with braised oxtails (the side to the tenderloin), and it brought me right back to the moment where I dipped in and discovered the "surprise". OMG-it was amazing. In fact I hadn't noticed it sitting there until someone at our table pointed it out and asked what it was-I was so enamoured with my wine, beef and the perfectly executed bordelaise sauce!

                  1. re: Splendid Wine Snob

                    The first time we were served that potato cream with braised oxtails was when we did the 11-course Gourmand for my birthday dinner in October. So insanely delicious, it totally knocked my culinary socks off. I purposely ordered the beef again in December just so that I could have that potato cream. I even checked with the server to make sure that it was still accompanying the beef. The beef with the Bordelaise sauce is not exactly shabby. But that potato cream is truly killer!!

                    1. re: RGR

                      The value is truly astounding. This is the most exciting restaurant for me right now, there is no question. They have a great depth of talent in both front and back of house. And oh, the desserts were also phenomenal.

                      1. re: Splendid Wine Snob

                        The dessert cart has been a huge success. Which tart(s) did you have?

                        1. re: RGR

                          We had the lemon meringue-the best executed I've had in eons, the tarte tatin, and a divine mango linzer. I need to get back there asap so I can try more. Next time, its the 11 course Gourmand with the wine pairings!

                          BTW, Seasonal Weinbar also delivered a fabulous evening-but best kept for another thread.

                          1. re: Splendid Wine Snob

                            I just had the tarte tatin for the first time. A prefect rendition.

                            Tarte tatin in this photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

                            I've had the lemon meringue a couple of times. Stellar!

                            Lemon meringue tart in this photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

                            When I had the linzer, the filling was raspberry.

                            Linzer tart in this photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

                            We've had two excellent dinners at Seasonal. Glad to hear that your experience was a very positive one.

                            1. re: RGR

                              I'm glad you found the dessert cart to be a positive experience. I went recently and had the winter tasting menu and the desserts were (and I hate to say this) absolutely and positively horrendous (and I mean horrendous). The "soda pop" was completely awful and the "Milk & Chocolate", while better, was still a complete let down for a restaurant/chef of this caliber.

                              1. re: StheJ

                                No matter the caliber of a restaurant, there can still be things on the menu that will not please everyone. When we were at Per Se, I had a veal dish that was a total letdown for me. So, if you did not care for those two desserts at EMP (which I've had and thought were fine though not mind blowers), I would say it's simply a case of "chacun à son goût."

                                1. re: RGR

                                  I appreciate what you're saying and think that my criticism of EMP does not have to mean anything more than that these two desserts were (unfortunately) objectively bad by whatever yardstick you would like to use.

                                  Frankly, I was incredibly disappointed in the context of the quality of the rest of the meal. Plus it was two courses!!! One bad dessert would have been ok ;)

                                  I'm not trying to knock EMP or Chef Humm/I thought everything else was quite good. But I think that this is (again unfortunately) a case of "bad is bad and you shouldn't be afraid of admitting it to yourself".

                                  1. re: StheJ

                                    "But I think that this is (again unfortunately) a case of '"bad is bad and you shouldn't be afraid of admitting it to yourself".

                                    I don't agree with that statement because, imo, when it comes to assessing whether a particular dish is good or bad, there is no such thing as "objectivity."

                                    1. re: RGR

                                      How long does lunch usually take at EMP, is it longer than two and a half hours?

                                      1. re: daffyduck

                                        That depends on how much you order, and how leisurely you want to make it. Obviously, the 5-course Gourmand will take longer than if you only order 2 courses.

                                        1. re: RGR

                                          generally how long would a 3 course be there? if i dont tell them anything about being in a rush or anything like that.

                                          1. re: daffyduck

                                            Even at 3 courses (plus amuse/mignardises), you're probably looking at 2 hours. Of course, I totally think it is worth it. I'm already planning my next ninja like strike for the roasted poularde, and I was told the other night that they will VERY soon have the duck back on the menu.

                                            1. re: daffyduck

                                              2 courses + the dessert cart? I'd say about an hour and a half

                                              1. re: RGR

                                                Thanks! Im good as long as it's not over two and a half hours.

                                                1. re: daffyduck

                                                  If you have time constraints, let your captain know at the outset, and he or she will be sure that you are served in a timely fashion.

                                                  Btw, one of the reasons the tart cart is so popular is that if someone is rushed for time but still wants dessert, they don't have to put in the order and then wait for the kitchen to do the plating. The cart is rolled to your table, you make your selections, and the plating is done right there by your captain. Definitely a time saver. Of course, if you want ice cream and/or sorbet or a cheese plate, those take a bit longer because they are plated in the kitchen.

                                                  1. re: RGR

                                                    The menu says there are also cheeses on the cart? We're going Friday and I'm spending an absurd amount of time getting strategic. Can you order a sliver of multiple tarts? Looks like it.

                                                    1. re: jgradieoakes


                                                      There is no cheese on the tarts cart. However, a cheese course is available ($15). During dinner service, there is a cheese cart, but not a lunch. We've never seen a list nor asked for one. Whenever we want to have cheese during lunch, our captain asks what kinds we prefer, we trust them to make the appropriate selections, and they are plated in the kitchen.

                                                      Cheese Plate at Lunch: http://www.flickr.com/photos/11863391...

                                                      And, yes, you can ask for a slice of as many of the five tarts as strike your fancy.

                                      2. re: StheJ

                                        My husband and I really, really love EMP (probably our favorite restaurant in NYC) but we both feel that desserts are not as strong as the rest of the menu -- so you're not alone. We've never encountered a "bad" dessert though, just not as impressive as other dishes. I do like their mignardises.

                                        1. re: uwsister

                                          I rarely call ANYTHING objectively "bad" but if I were the "Milk & Chocolate" dessert would be high on my list. And I've really liked more experimental desserts at WD-50, Alinea, Tailor, etc. in the past. But the weird dehydrated dry milk bubbles that didn't fully reconstitute in my mouth? Yeah, no thanks.

                                          50 Clinton Street, New York, NY 10002

                                          1. re: kathryn

                                            agreed the "Milk and Chocolate" was really bad. The worst thing I've had at EMP. I would like to try the souffle as I hear it's really good

                                            1. re: wreckers00

                                              Oh boy, that Souffle is great. Lilikoi sauce, light eggy texture. Amazing.

                  2. I ate lunch there two weeks ago, and I had the lemon pasta with crab and black pepper. It was divine -- so rich and flavorful.

                    1. please report back. I'm having lunch there on next Wed. =)

                      1. We literally just got back from yet another AMAZING meal at EMP. We were there for 3.5 hours, despite only doing the 3 course prix fixe.

                        I will reiterate one point: this place is an absolutely RIDICULOUSLY PHENOMENAL restaurant; from FOH, BOH, Wine service, etc, this place is just crazy good. I am still so thrilled that Bruni went out giving this place its absolutely deserved 4 stars.

                        While everything was outstanding, of particular awesomeness were the ricotta gnocchi and the Knoll Crest Farm Egg ... WOW! These two dishes were absolutely stunning! And while we wanted to do the roast Poularde again, we opted to wait until our next lunch reservation ... even though we watched the table next to us having it carved & served tableside, and were about to leap over and steal if from their plates it looked/smelled so amazing!

                        This has become one of our most favorite restaurants, pretty much anywhere. The food may not be the tightest/most inventive, but if you measure the full experience, EMP is just a ridiculously amazing and special place to have a meal.

                        I know I used the word "amazing" multiple times, but EMP is superlative. Run ... don't walk, RUN to EMP.

                        13 Replies
                        1. re: a213b

                          One word: jealous. Trust me, I will definitely be running back. I haven't seen a restaurant have the whole package like this in a very long time.

                          1. re: a213b


                            So happy to hear that you had another "amazing" experience at our favorite of all restaurants in NYC. :)

                            So, since you passed on the poularde, what did you have for your main course? And what about dessert?

                            1. re: RGR

                              I am waiting with batted breathe! OMG, I am so excited for this meal. We have to be at Late Night at Jimmy Fallon at 4:30ish, so maybe won't be able to do the Gourmand, but after seeing those photos....I AM having dessert!

                              1. re: RGR

                                We did the Black Angus Beef and the Cochon de Lait for our mains, and the Sheep's Milk Yogurt Cheesecake and the Bittersweet Chocolate Cremeux for dessert.

                                As always, everything was just so scrumptious and yummy!

                                1. re: a213b

                                  EMP is also one of my favorite restaurants. That beef crusted with bone marrow is sensational, as is the pork, and the lobster, and the lamb, ohhhh and the pork. LOL you get the idea.

                                  And please do tell who said they are bringing the duck back? RGR can this be true!?

                                  1. re: steakrules85

                                    steak, Afaik, that duck is not coming back.

                                    1. re: steakrules85

                                      Actually ... we were discussing it with someone on our service team (cannot recall if it was our Captain, Sommelier, etc), and s/he said the duck will be coming back soon. I got the impression it was only a matter of weeks.

                                      I know, I know, you're thinking "if he cannot even recall who told him, how certain can he be?" Well, I know for certain because I was curious if it would be supplanting the roast chicken, and was told by our server that s/he was pretty sure they would both be on.

                                      Of course, RGR might well have more insight, as EMP is a place she frequents; but, I just wanted to relay what we were told last weekend.

                                      1. re: a213b

                                        The last time I discussed the duck with staff members, it was clear that it would not be returning anytime soon. But that was several months ago, and I haven't asked about it since. We'll be at EMP within the next two weeks. Given the info you've been given, I'll make it my business to find out if it will be back on the menu.

                                          1. re: RGR

                                            That makes sense, as we were told it came off for the Winter menu, but is being brought back for the Spring.

                                            We're definitely planning on heading back ... we should have a CH EMP meal/meetup!

                                            1. re: a213b

                                              "...we should have a CH EMP meal/meetup!"

                                              Love the idea! Let's plan it! There's an e-mail link on my blog. (See my CH profile page.)

                                                1. re: steakrules85

                                                  Never questioned it for a minute, steak! :))))

                                2. Lunch was remarkable! The food alone was glorious, my husband thinks the lamb done in 5 different ways is the best he has ever had. I had a lovely spring salad singing with song and the scotish salmon. And....the lemon tart was to die for!! We almost made reservations for dinner but they couldn't take us at the time we required. The total experience enchanting!! We WILL be back. Thank you NY, winging it back to Malibu.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: MarlaPR

                                    Thanks for the report, Marla! So glad you loved it.

                                    Safe travels back to CA.

                                  2. AA report of a recent lunch at EMP:

                                    The canapés left a mixed impression. The gougères were quite good, if not approaching Keller's version. The mini foie gras and apple macaron was playful and tasty, but it was followed by a forgettable canapé that featured a green gelée (celery root?). There always seems to be at least one canapé with aspic or a gelée at EMP, and I've always found them innocuous. Even a little sliver of black truffle couldn't save this particular one.

                                    Then there was a small cup of a lemongrass and Madras curry "cappuccino" (whatever that means) with langoustine served as an amuse-bouche. I liked it, but it suffered in comparison to a very similar amuse served recently at Le Bernardin. In EMP's version, the lemongrass was merely a whisper in the background, the soup was thinner, and the shellfish flesh didn't have nearly the same sweetness. On to the main courses:

                                    *Spätzle with Niman Ranch Pork Belly, Pommery Mustard and Spinach*
                                    This reminded me of a pork belly dish Momofuku Noodle Bar had a few years ago, back when it was in its old space (where Ko is now); it was charred in the salamander, simply adorned with pickled mustard seeds and braised bok choy and man, it was terrific. Unfortunately, while the spätzle at EMP was fine, the little rectangle of pork belly suffered from a rather tough crust.*

                                    St. Canut Farm Cochon de Lait with Butternut Squash, Plums and Royale Trumpet Mushrooms*
                                    Excellent overall, although the paper-thin, translucent slices of plum added nothing aside from some color. The skin was very crispy, and the pork loin, squash, and mushrooms were all properly cooked. However, the plating felt precious and "architectural"; things were clearly arranged primarily for visual appeal.

                                    The surprise of the meal was the chocolate-caramel tart, which was really great. I gravitate towards more creative, unusual, or fruit-based desserts, but the beautifully dense ganache was very pleasing.

                                    The after-meal plate of assorted mini-macarons was nice as usual. The bread service was fine.

                                    Overall, I think the lunch deal at Jean Georges is better.

                                    Per Se
                                    10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

                                    Jean Georges
                                    1 Central Park W, New York, NY 10023

                                    Le Bernardin
                                    155 W. 51st St., New York, NY 10019

                                    Momofuku Noodle Bar
                                    171 1st Ave, New York, NY 10003

                                    1. I haven't dined at EMP since they where serving brunch a few years ago. I still remember the remarkable Smoked Sturgeon and Eggs dish that I had.

                                      I returned last week due to CHer's championing of it as the current heavy hitter in New York's fine dining scene and am pleased to say that its kept its standard very high. My SO and I had the 3 course tasting which was more than enough food and we also ordered their soft cocktails as well which where a highlight unto themselves.

                                      Everything was great, from the food to the very genuine and sincere service. The standout for me was the Nova Scotia Lobster, with the Cochon coming in a close second. I'm Canadian but get to NY far more than Quebec so it was a good opportunity to sample St. Canut's Cochon.

                                      We will return, most likely to sample one of their larger tasting menus.

                                      Our meal in pictures:



                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: Notorious P.I.G.

                                        Superb photo gallery Notorious P.I.G. Very nice work, glad you enjoyed it.

                                      2. is there a vegetarian tasting menu at EMP?

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: sourgirl

                                          Well not quite (not like Per Se)....but you can ask for a 6 course or 11 course vegetarian tasting menu (or i guess as many courses as you want) and EMP would be happy to accommodate you.