There's a reason this place has three Michelin stars. Was the food the best I'd ever had? No. But every dish was perfectly executed, and interesting, and the service was beyond impeccable, making this the best meal I've ever had.
Imagine a table with six people, all with different dietary restrictions and allergies, and one very picky eater. A restaurant's nightmare, right? Wrong. Because Eleven Madison Park has such a well trained staff, they navigated our different dietary restrictions with ease, providing consistently interesting alternatives to each of us, whenever we came across a course that didn't meet our restrictions. After explaining our restrictions and aversions before the meal, we never had to say anything more. With the bread, came gluten free bread. With the seafood, came vegetarian options. Every course was prepared to perfection,
Some of the food could be classified as amazing. I really enjoyed their use of parsnip and truffle, and their interpretations of pastrami (one of my favorite meats), and pretzel were some of the best I've ever had. All together though, each course was something different and interesting. I may not have been a fan of all of the flavors, but it was a lot of fun to try each of them, and every dish was presented beautifully, over a span of four and a half hours.
They also used very high quality, locally sourced ingredients. They had the most incredible apples, apparently from upstate New York. They had a variety of New England clams and oysters, caviar, lobster, house-made cheese - you name it. They don't shirk on the ingredients here.
I mentioned the service was impeccable. Besides how knowledgable and accommodating the staff was, they were also really quick. Whenever I sat down, somebody was pushing in my chair, and grabbing me a new napkin before I knew what was happening. Drinks were refilled constantly. Everybody was served at once, and even though the meal took four and a half hours, I thought it was perfectly timed.
I've heard others compare eleven madison park to a museum, or a show. While those are both accurate depictions, I think the best way to describe it is a personalized experience. It's like having your own Michelin star chef, for the day.
It's a long, tiring, fun experience, and though I don't intend to go back for at least a couple of years (it's more of a one-time experience), if invited, I wouldn't hesitate to do it again. It's definitely worth doing at least once.
Some noted dishes: (House-smoked Pastrami, rye cracker, and Maple soda) - (Roast duck, duck broth, and duck sausage and gruyere on cracker), (Bone marrow, caviar, and beef tartare, all served inside of a bone)(Savory black and white cookie with Apple and cheddar, and sweet black and white cookie with cinnamon )
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