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g.johnson

Eleven Madison Park

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I've been a couple of times before and although perfectly ok I found it pretty ho hum; neither as exciting as a top tier restaurant (the Danny Meyer effect) nor as satisfying as a decent bistro. But a new Chef, Daniel Humm, formerly of somewhere on the left coast and admired by one of our dining companions, seemed like a good reason to go.

 

Three spring and one aquatic tasting menus.

 

Lots of amuse. A sea urchin soup which was much better than anything that includes the overrated sea urchin normally is. A tasty little something with flying fish roe. A gelatinous scallop thing. A creamy foie gras brulee. Gougeres (can't go wrong). Goat cheese with crispy bits. Oysters on leek/potato puree. All very fine.

 

But then, the horror. A beet salad. Very pretty. A vertical arrangement of around 10 5x1cm cylinders of different colored beets. But no amount of visual artistry could disguise the fact that they were beets. A fennel and orange salad that preceded the aquatic menu was a lot nicer.

 

"Aquatic"

 

Loup de Mer Tartare with Meyer Lemon Oil and Osetra Caviar

Good but a bit boring.

 

Maine Diver Scallops Saffron Consommé with Green Apples and Ginger

Nice scallops, clean tasting presentation. Good.

 

Nova Scotia Lobster Butter Poached with chantenay carrots, orage and Gewurtztrminer

Perfectly cooked lobster. Soft and sweet. Lovely subtle Gewurtz sauce. Redundant carrots.

 

Meyer Lemon Meringue Tart, Warm Chiboust and Lemon-Basil Sorbet

Fine.

 

Spring

 

"Elevages Périgord" Foie Gras Terrine with Rhubarb, Golden Raisins and Noble Sour Vinegar

Nice creamy foie layered with chopped rhubarb and topped with rhubarb jelly. I am not a fan of rhubarb but this was good. Naturally accompanied by predictably vile brioche. A nice salad of asparagus dressed, I assume, with the vinegar. Noble enough and sour.

 

Scottish Langoustine Butter Poached with Carrot-Orange Nage

Very good Dublin bay prawns but the nage was a bit overpowering.

 

Jamison Farm Lamb Herb Roasted with Tomato Confit and Nicoise Olives

A chop, a couple of pieces of stew and a confit of belly. The lamb could have been lambier but still very acceptable.

 

Composition of Desserts "Araguani" Chocolate Mille-Feuille and Orange-Jasmine Crepe Napoleon

Most hated this. I thought it fine enough.

 

One service glitch: one diner, expressly averse to shellfish was nonetheless served scallops.

 

With three bottles of wine between four, $155 a head inclusive.

 

Go before Meyer sucks the life out of the new chef.

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Ah.

Humm was at Campton Place, San Francisco, though originally from Zurich. Just found some of his dishes in issue 73 of Art Culinaire,

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Elevan????

It comes before twalve.

 

Squeat Mungry and I had Humm's dishes shortly before Christmas time. We posted about it (with some photos) at the end of this thread.

 

Squeat had the beets and gave me a taste. Yumma.

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Guest Aaron T

I was the shellfish averse diner and it was almost comical for as soon as the waitress confirmed that noone had any food alergies except that I did not eat shellfish, we were served an amuse that included the scallop and oyster.

 

I subsituted the Loup de Mer tartare from the Aquatic Menu for the langoustine. The composition of the dish had changed and unbeknownst to the waitress also included scallops on top. They were gracious and replaced the dish immediately when it was pointed out to them. Otherwise the service was good.

 

I liked Chef Humm's cooking - especially the foie gras brulee, the foie appetizer and the lamb three ways from the Spring menu. I did not care for the chocolate desserts. They brought many amuses, which was quite generous.

 

I thought it a good value and the room is beautiful. As Glyn pointed out last night, all of us were able to have views of the restaurant (no views of wall) and the seating was comfy. We were not rushed through the meal and the sommelier was also helpful in finding good reasonably priced wines that complemented the food. The wines included a Gigondas and a St. Joseph. They decanted the red wine for us and let it breathe for over an hour while we ate amuses and apps.

 

I would advise getting a cheese course in lieu of dessert, although the Meyer Lemon tart was pretty good. I do not usually seek out beets but the beet salad was good and looked beautiful in its array of colors.

 

The professor is right - this is a different restaurant - much more ambitious and interesting - than it was before. San Francisco's loss is our gain.

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I really enjoyed our meal and I'm eager to go back. Food beautifully presented with nice, clean flavors. G remarked there were no wow moments--true, maybe--but that foie gras creme brulee amuse was very close, I think. Eating the beet salad, I kept going "mmmm". This was reminiscent of the beet salad at Gusto, but was more refined. The breads were also very good, especially the little baguettes. Apart from the desserts, certainly no clunkers.

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I love the room.

 

Not much else to add, except that the second white we had, a Burgundy, was a very good wine at a good price. Odd to say this, but I thought the meal was a bit of a bargain all things considered. I loved, loved the uni soup. The oyster and scallop amuses were delicious as well. Also very much liked the foie gras terrine, the langoustine and the bits of confited lamb.

 

My dessert was awful, really off-putting. I did not love the bread, either.

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On the strength of the hum about Humm,I had dinner with a friend 'bout 10 days back...We were treated as friends of the house,lovely service,had the chefs' tasting menu....and were totally underwhelmed by the food,and a lilttle overwhelmed by the foam...everywhere.And cylinders of beet standing on end like a bunch of larvae seemed....silly.The one wow dish was the lamb 3 ways...the rest,I've mostly forgotten by now.It is a lovely room,and deserves some grand food to go with...

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I love the room.

 

My dessert was awful, really off-putting. I did not love the bread, either.

their bread is from Balthazar...11 Mad Park has a very friendly corkage policy- me thinks $30.00 or 35.00 per with no attitude and good glassware.

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I love the room.

 

My dessert was awful, really off-putting. I did not love the bread, either.

their bread is from Balthazar...11 Mad Park has a very friendly corkage policy- me thinks $30.00 or 35.00 per with no attitude and good glassware.

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