I was in NY over the weekend for my sister´s Bday, and our plan consists mostly of Food and Theatre. First stop of the foodie trip: Eleven Madison Park. I had never been, worked really hard to get a reservation and therefore my expectations were very high. I’m happy to report all the expectations were met and then some! It was also one of my first trips to really good restaurants being completely gluten-free, and I have to say the better the restaurant the better they are at catering your needs! Very conveniently for this post, at the end of the meal I did get a printed menu of everything so it made it much easier to share! Here is was:
.. and now for the food
SEA URCHIN – Custard with Baby Squid, Manilla Clam and Apple – the sauce on this first dish was amazing, it had so much depth!
CRANBERRY. Gelee with Soken Curds and Agretti – Interesting course, but not my favorite. A little too sweet for the second course
CUCUMBER – Snow with Lapand Souchong and Grape – Well this was a great refreshing course. The grapes were a complete surprise, it took us a while when we were eating it to understand what they were. The cucumber snow with the green tea made a great combination.
SCALLOP – Chip with Pickled Daikon – this was one of my modified courses. The rest of the table had an eel chip with foie gras, but I had this gluten-free version. definitely great finger food, a very fulfilling bite.
STURGEON – Sabayon with Chives; Smoked with Everything Bagel Crumble, Pickles, and Caviar. This was a two-part course. First we got the little egg filled with custard which was amazing!! Second you get the literally smoking smoked sturgeon. To eat it you got toast, caviar, pickles and everything bagel crumble – a truly NY dish. It was an elevated presentation of a classic and an ingenious way to mix casual and high end. I also loved the care they took to make my dish gluten-free without changing the experience. I got my special gluten-free brioche toast and non bagel, everything bagel crumble!
LANGOUSTINE – With Fennel, sour Cherries, and Clam – This was the first of the dishes I could actually choose. A light and flavourful dish, but given the bold flavors that came before a bit lacking. (I also added the picture of my sister’s choice- the foie-gras – that one looked much better than my langoustine!)
CARROT – Tartare with Rye Bread and Condiments I terms of creativity this was the highlight of the night. They put the grinder on the table and grinded fresh carrots to make it look like a tartar. It was served with great condiments, and a carrot chilly oil. Th taste was great, it was visually stunning and very clever!
LOBSTER– Poached with escarole and almond – Who know lettuce could taste so good!
DUCK – Smoked Heart, Cured Foie Gras, and Sesame; Roasted with Lavender and Honey, Apple & Quinoa: Another two-part dish and a complete surprise. When we got there we were told that for the main course apart from our four options we could choose, if the whole table agreed, the Lavender Duck. I had heard about this duck in reviews and blogs so of course we said yes. It was presented in two courses, the first one was the cured heart with foiegras, that was presented while they carved the dish. A normal non descript salad, so unmemorable that I forgot to take a picture. Then the real good stuff came. The duck was amazingly cooked, and the honey and lavender flavor were beautiful and strong but not overpowering. The combination with the quinoa gave it a great textural contrast.
GREENSWARD – Pretzel , Mustard, and Beer A very fun presentation of the cheese course in a picnic basket. I also got my very own gluten-free baguette!
MALT – Egg Cream with Vanilla and Seltzer I think this was, as a consensus the least liked dish in my table. Although fun that they made malt beverages in the table, it was too sweet! I got a special gluten-free version that instead of malt vanilla was chocolate based, and still too strong (then again we are salt people not sugar people!)
PLUM – Marinated with Jasmine and Cashew Im not a big desert person and gluten-free wise you can’t always go for the best options. My plum based dessert was good, however the yuzu ice cream was a bit too overpowering. The table also got a Pistachio based dessert that got rave comments and a fig based one that was also very goof (I think I got short-changed here). The fourth option was chocolate, which most people would have gone for, but we are a chocolate hating family so I can’t report on that part!
HUCKLEBERRY – Goat Cheese Cheesecake and Lime
PRETZEL – Chocolate covered with Sea Salt By this point I was full, so the pretzel wasnt really enjoyed (it was chocolate!). I’m sure chocolate lovers would find it amazing. It was served with specially made apple brandy which was quite tasty and very aromatic!
To finish the night off, we got chocolates (whose presentation is amazing – you get to choose a card of ingredients and get the chocolate to match) and gift baskets (where we got the actual cards which are amazing!!)
What did we drink all this with? Well some champagne to start and then we did a wine for my sisters Birth year and one from mine. Since there weren’t any good 1991s, we compromised on a 1992 Colgin and a 1982 Chateau Margaux