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A Classic New York Evening at Eleven Madison Park

  • October 12, 2014
  • By Brittany
A Classic New York Evening at Eleven Madison Park

With only a few weeks left until Baby B gets here, the Hubs and I have been preparing like mad: bassinet-check, baby clothes-check, stroller-check.  Of course, its not all work.  We put a few things on our list to do that we thought would be fun for us and probably not as easy to do once we had a tiny human on our hands.  We made a point to go on a babymoon last month, this month we decided to visit some restaurants that have been on our wish list for a long time.

This weekend we decided to go to Eleven Madison Park.  Let me tell you, this restaurant is not just the best restaurant in NYC nor the best restaurant in the U.S., it’s the fourth best restaurant in the world!!   We decided that bringing a new life into this world was really worth celebrating so we threw practicality to the wind and decided to make a reservation.

This is the type of restaurant where reservations are made available 28 days ahead of the date at 9am and you call at 9am only to wait on hold for 30 minutes to grab the prime dining time of 5:45 pm.  Well, to be fair, we had the option of 9:45pm but I think my 9:45pm dinner days are long gone.  Good thing we went with the 5:45pm.  By the time we left it was about 10pm!

Now, if you haven’t heard of Eleven Madison Park, you may well remember a certain scene from Sex and the City when Carrie goes to meet Big and he tells her he is engaged!  The scene occurs at a restaurant, which is none other than this lovely establishment!

Despite our early reservation, we scored a prime table at the back facing the restaurant.  Plus we got to sit next to each other, which I always love! ๐Ÿ™‚

eleven madison park seat

Now, most fine dining restaurants approach service with a certain level of formality and while there is certainly formality at Eleven Madison Park, there is also a sense of lightheartedness and fun.  In fact, when we arrived at our table there were two items already there for us: an envelope and a box.

Inside the envelope was a card with four flavors; Maple, Cranberry, Apple and Celery.  We were instructed by our served to select the flavor we were most excited about.

eleven madison park card

Inside the box was the classic NYC black and white cookie–a little welcome from the restaurant.  Although this cookie wasn’t sweet at all.  In fact, it was a savory play on the classic version of the cookie made up of cheddar cheese and apple.

eleven madison park cookie

When you go to this restaurant, you have to be prepared to let go of any control issues you have because you don’t even receive a menu besides a wine and cocktail list (which, PS, they had some fabulous mocktails!  I favored the Jangles: pineapple, agave, jalapeno and sparkling mineral water and also the Madison Parksider: cucumber, basil and sparkling mineral water). Although the restaurant will definitely take into consideration any dietary restrictions you may have, like, no raw protein or cured meats or smoked fish or unpasteurized cheeses.  I was surprised to find out that this dinner actually featured all of those things, which were all substituted for me!

 This restaurant is big on themes, so we were given one choice for an entree that we needed to both agree on.  When faced with the option of duck or venison, it was an easy choice for the Hubs, whose favorite protein is duck.  This was a great choice because after enjoying our first bite cookie, we were treated to bread made from local flour with duck butter and a side of duck broth.  It may not sound that appetizing, but let me tell you, it was one of the best things I’ve ever had!  

I had no idea how many courses we had in store for us, but I knew that I was going to have to be really picky about what courses I actually finished. Our menu looked like this:

Kabocha Squash with roasted pear, chestnut and radicchio 

eleven madison park 2

Hudson Valley Foie Gras with seared blood sausage, cranberries and kale–This was one of my favorites!

eleven madison park 3

A play on the traditional NYC sandwich: Pastrami open faced sandwich with rye, leek, potato and apple and a soda featuring our most excited flavor: Maple soda for me and Apple for the Hubs!

eleven madison park 4

Long Island Seafood- halibut, kale and apple salad, marinated blue crab with pickled radish and vichyssoise with caviar (so good!)

eleven madison park 5

Atlantic Halibut served with a almond milk and potato soup, which was amazing!

eleven madison park 6

Lion’s Mane Mushrooms served in their own broth.  One of the kitchen staff members brought out the mushrooms before they were cooked to show us.  I found a photo to show you how insane they look!



Compare with how they look cooked:

eleven madison park 7

Chacruterie Plate, which for me was actually parsnip

eleven madison park 8

Finger Lakes Duck- dry aged for two weeks, with apple, rutabaga and fall spices including lavender, honey and schezuan peppercorn.

eleven madison park 9

Cheese plate with conserved plums and pretzel roll

eleven madison park 10

Whey- sorbet with caramelized milk and milk foam (this was so good!)

eleven madison park 11

Baked Alaska, which was set on fire in front of us with rum and salted caramel and here, my maple flavor was incorporated again!

eleven madison park 12

eleven madison park 13

A chocolate covered pretzel with an apple brandy for the Hubs and a pinot noir juice for me, which was kind of exciting! ๐Ÿ™‚

eleven madison park 14

eleven madison park 15

And at the end, they gave us another black and white cookie to take home with us.  This time it was actually the sweet version.

Oh and because they didn’t want us to feel hungry when we awoke the next morning, they gave us breakfast: two jars of housemade granola.  Now that’s service!


Readers, what flavor are you most excited about: maple, cranberry, apple or celery?  Do you have a restaurant on your bucket list?  What’s your favorite way to celebrate a special occasion?

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  • Holly @ EatGreatBEGreat
    October 13, 2014

    I cannot believe all the food you guys had! It all looks absolutely amazing though! I love that they gave you some homemade granola to take home with you for the next day. As far as flavor, I would have definitely picked maple!

  • Yum Yucky
    October 13, 2014

    Kabocha Squash looks very interesting! Food really is a big deal for me and my hubs. We love to dine out. I keep telling him that we need to get an RV and do a road trip to dine at the best places around the country. This is on my bucket list. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Lauren @ ihadabiglunch
    October 13, 2014

    That has to be the fanciest spread I’ve seen in a LONG time. Some of it is way out of my league haha but others, holy goodness! That cheese plate :DDD i’m a serious sucker for a beautiful cheese plate! And baked alaska is on my food bucket list for sure. I’m glad you guys got to have a fun night out at such a special place!

  • Nicole @ Foodie Loves Fitness
    October 13, 2014

    Sounds like a memorable dining experience! That mushroom is crazy looking! I’ve never seen it before. And YAY for mocktails for you!

  • Kim
    October 13, 2014

    Wow – no wonder it took over 4 hours for dinner – that is a lot of food!! So cool that y’all are taking time for yourselves right now – good choice!!

  • Karen - Fit in France
    October 13, 2014

    OMG, what a great dining experience.

  • Lisa @ Lulus Big Adventure
    October 13, 2014

    Looks like an amazing experience for people who enjoy fine dining – unfortunately I’m more of a non-fine dining girl haha. Glad you enjoyed yourselves!

  • Jessica
    October 13, 2014

    We did this too, just this weekend – one last dinner date out! I chose a Japanese restaurant and skipped the sashimi but was able to eat any of the veggie rolls. It was fun and a good reminder to me to make time for us even after baby gets here.

  • Nellie @ Brooklyn Active Mama
    October 13, 2014

    wow wow wow! The food looks phenomenal! I always pass by it sometimes on the way home from work but I have never been!! What a great idea to visit one of the best restaurants in the world before baby b comes!! i don’t think I would have been able to let go of control like that!! Glad you guys had a good time ๐Ÿ™‚ <3

  • Courtney @ Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life
    October 14, 2014

    This place sounds incredible!! What an awesome experience you guys had! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Shawna
    October 14, 2014

    wow, what a crazy fun, adventurous experience! i haven’t eaten here and while i love the idea of it being such a culinary adventure, i’m so picky that i’m afraid it wouldn’t bode well for me. i’d pick maple flavor as well, and the halibut looks amazing.

  • Melanie @ Happy Being Healthy
    October 14, 2014

    Oh my word, what an amazing experience! I think that’s so great you got to go there, especially before baby arrives. Again, you are so lucky to live in NYC! I’m floored by all of that amazing food…I think I would have picked apple for my “flavor.” Everything looked great, except that mushroom freaked me out. Eeee.

  • Cailee Joy @
    October 15, 2014

    WOW!! What a gourmet place!! I can’t believe that they gave you breakfast for the next morning!! SO nice! ๐Ÿ™‚ What a lovely time! Those mushrooms look crazy before! hahaha!

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