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Dec 26, 2010 05:10 PM

Eleven Madison Park - lunch questions

I going for the first time for lunch tomorrow. The online menu looks very vague. I understand that there is supposed to be a "dialogue" of sorts between me and the server, but am interested in hearing about any must haves or avoids among the standard preparations.

I checked a few threads since the revamp. The lunch reviews seem mixed, but I have a pretty open palate and do not mind a lively service style.

Also, how much time will a four course lunch take? I have read about the array of hors d'ouvres and petits fours for dinner, but was not sure whether these are offered for lunch as well. Thanks.

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

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  1. i did the four course lunch in November and it took the better part of three hours. the standout dish for me was the Persimmon, which was served two ways in a salad of endive, arugula, fresh mozzarella and yuzu, i believe. i'm a meat eater at heart and chose the pork and chicken as my 2nd & 3rd course. they were both excellent, but the Persimmon stole my heart. i finished with the cheese plate, knowing i'd share Ms. Coasts' chocolates. they were both good, but given the opportunity to go again, i'd likely choose the cheese course again.

    Ms. Coasts loved the cold prawn soup with green apple granita and the butter poached lobster.

    the best advice i could give is to be relaxed and upfront with your server. be clear about things you don't like. i wouldn't be happy to receive seafood and i said as much. ms coasts was easier...she said simply, "No organs, please"

    2 Replies
    1. re: coasts

      Thanks Coasts. I also saw this post from Wandering Eater about her four course lunch at EMP.

    2. Had lunch there a few weeks ago. Did a four course menu. It was great and there were at least half a dozen other 'courses', amuses and petit fours. Among my favorite of the four course menu was the foie gras (esp the foie GRAS brûlée component)and the pork. The 'dialogue' is a bit overplayed. The menu shows the main ingredient for each course and you can ask the server what the typical preparation is or how it is cooked or tell them things you don't like, etc or you can just let it be. I don't have any food aversions or allergies so I just picked my four ingredients and let it be. My wife only specified no creamy soups but cream as part of a sauce was ok

      Don't recalll the timing but definitely at least two hrs.

      1. Thanks ESNY. Anyway I thought I'd report back. There were only two columns on the grid today:

        Fennel / Prawn
        Crab / John Dory
        Chicken / Beef
        Chevre / Lemon

        I was served gougeres as I was studying the grid. I'm not a shellfish fan and so I passed on the prawn and crab. My server asked about food allergies, then the "dialogue" went like this:

        - How is the fennel prepared?
        - A salad.

        - And the beef?
        - With foie gras.

        - And the lemon?
        - With poppyseeds.

        Obviously my server didn't want to spoil any surprises, lol, which was good since I like surprises.

        So, here's what I had:

        Hors d'oeuvres, which were heady variations on a theme of sabayon and truffle. A phenomenally luxurious intro:

        - Chicken veloute
        - Black truffle brioche
        - Smoked sturgeon sabayon with chive, served in an eggshell
        - Poached egg with white truffle sabayon

        The fennel was braised and served with bulgur wheat, oranges, mojama (cured tuna). Vaguely mediterranean, yet tasted like comfort food in the best way.

        Bread service - slices of french baguette and semolina roll (at room temperature), cow's milk butter, goat's milk butter (which was like chilled creme fraiche), and salt.

        The John Dory was lightly seared and served with edamame, daikon, dehydrated citrus (for an acidic crunch), buerre blanc, and avocado oil. Great dish.

        Beef tenderloin was perfectly cooked and served with seared foie gras, toasted brioche, and onion marmalade. Really fantastic.

        Pre-dessert was the Kir Royale: cassis sorbet, lemon meringue, champagne foam. Light and nicely alcoholic.

        The dessert consisted of lemon poppyseed "muffin" shavings, yogurt, olive oil emulsion, and candied green olives. Nothing too heavy, just a nice balance of sweet and savory.

        Petit fours: peanut tuille, and a chocolate and frozen banana lollipop. I also received a jar of granola as a take home gift.

        At one point, Chef Daniel Humm came to my table to say hello. The room was only half full, I guess because of the blizzard. The vibe was very relaxed in spite of the grand surroundings.

        The most surprising thing was friendly yet low key, quiet, and completely unobtrusive service.

        I enjoyed my lunch and was quite wowed by Eleven Madison Park. I definitely plan to return soon.

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

        157 Ave C, New York, NY 10009

        1 Reply
        1. re: H Manning

          Thanks for your great report! Sounds like I need to make another reservation at EMP (it's been more than 2 months). The beef sounds fantastic!