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Eleven Madison Park

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Masa didn't get any worse when Sifty demoted them, but then again The Modern didn't get any better when Wells upped them to three.

Pete Wells at least made the attempt to argue that it did: "the cooking in the Dining Room has more focus and intensity than I remember from the early days." He may be lying (to protect Bruni) or just mistaken, but he made that argument.


This is the thing Sifton did not try to do when he demoted Masa.

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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

I look forward to the next iteration, when he transforms it into the first NFT restaurant, with menus of Non-Food Tokens for 500 Ethereum. You sit at a table and look at pictures of food and wine bott

Then Goldilocks cried out, "Someone's been playing with my FOOD!"

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And yet, the restaurant's $225 per person price, and its jammed reservations line, can be circumvented by New Yorkers, or anyone else, more or less completely. In fact, at a restaurant that prides itself on surprising diners, EMP's best-kept secret is that, on any given night, you can stroll in off the street, sit at a proper table, and dine à la carte for much less than you'd think.


The solution is the restaurant's bar nook, where reservations are not taken and where most people don't think to simply drop in, which must be why doing so during prime-time hours remains surprisingly unchallenging. When Grub stopped by last night at 7:30 p.m., the bar was busy, but low key. None of the nook's five tables were immediately available, but the staff was more than happy to let my guest and me sit at the bar until one opened up, which happened mere moments after we sat down. As the host said, "people come and go."


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I wonder what you're offered to eat there, if the dining room doesn't have a menu? Is there a bar menu?

According to the Grubstreet piece:


The menu is concise and straightforward: four apps, four entrees, and three desserts. While it's true that there's a $75 caviar-and-smoked-fish dish, you can also get three courses and make it out for $68 per person if you order correctly.

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I haven't been since last...spring? Anyhow, there's sort of two bar areas, one of which where you can dine. We were seated first closer to the entrance, had apéritifs, then were moved to a table adjacent to the bar once one opened up and permitted to order there.


The bar menu is à la carte, a few dishes offered for each course. I believe the principal meat dishes are more or less the binary choice offered diners on the tasting menu. At least when we were there the options were the duck and the dry-aged beef. Both were fantastic, better than the mains I had during my last 'proper' dinner in the dining room. I believe some form of butter-poached lobster is usually on the bar menu as well.

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Frankly, if I knew in advance that seats would be available, I think I'd dine at the bar more than once a year. Might work as a second date option.

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Right, you don't get all the extras you would have received in the dining room during the old days, and the service isn't anything like the production there. In fact, I feel like we got the interns / tyros on the wait staff. And our sommelier seemed a bit nervous. Definitely the most awkward service I've ever experienced at EMP.

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