savory black and white cookie with apple
custard with tuna and caviar
marinated with lemon and melon
tea with lemon thyme
salad with strawberries with basil
pastrami with peppers, rye, mustard, and old-fashioned cherry soda
house baked bread, unsalted butter with duck fat, unsalted butter
marinated with peaches, ginger, and bitter almond
boil with clams, shrimp, and beans
braised with sunchokes and sunflower seeds
roasted with raspberries, blueberries, and mulberries
pretzel, raspberry mustard, and green tomatoes
sorbet with caramelized milk and cherries
grill with lemon thyme ice cream and honey
chocolate covered with sea salt
sweet black and white cookie with caramel
Eau de Vie
EMP House made granola
Last week I had the opportunity to spend a week in New York. My evenings were spent in Brooklyn but I was able to snag a lunch reservation at Eleven Madison Park. I thought the courses were simple (in a good way) and it paid homage to New York favorites such as a pastrami sandwich. To me, a great restaurant invokes childhood memories and EMP did just that with their Cheese course. The course was whimsical as everything was presented inside a picnic basket. One element included one of my favorite snacks, a pretzel. I love pretzels, period. It reminded me of the Hot Sam pretzels that I craved as a kid in the mid 80s. I was tempted to ask for another pretzel to finish all of the cheese. So good.
Bread service: I still think Joel Robuchon reigns supreme on that front but EMP is up there along with Guy Savoy. Too bad Alinea axed their bread service. It was good too.
Spoiler alert: After I left the restaurant, another surprise awaited outside with a local street vendor. Every diner was presented with a strawberry cream popsicle treat to beat the summer heat.
Parting gift: I think every restaurant who offers a tasting menu of $200+ is obligated to give its patrons a parting gift. Whether it be a loaf of bread (a la Joel Robuchon) or TFL shortbread cookies, EMP does it right with granola that's as addictive as oxycodone.
Overall, I had a better experience here than at the French Laundry. I didn't feel over stuffed and spending a few minutes in the kitchen was a nice touch to end my afternoon. Would I come back? Maybe for their fall menu. Otherwise, I don't feel the urge to come back any time soon to make up for any missteps as I didn't uncover anything.