Just had another incredible meal at EMP. Since it was a special occassion and we haven't attempted it in a while we went for the full tasting menu (with pairings). Everything was spectacular but one thing that really got our attention was their take on the NYC Jewish deli. I apologize if this is old news but it was new to us and I have to write about it. Chef Kent brought a tray with a glass dome on it, the dome was filled with thick white smoke making the content unseeable, there was a strong smell of burning wood. We were told we could look at it, turn it, but under no circumstances lift the lid (at first we thought it was a prank), Chef said he would return shortly. When he returned seveal minutes later we were able to just start making out what was under the dome, we saw a platform of some sort and some smoking greens on the bottom. We were each given a plate with some classic (albeit tiny) garnishes (they needed to be seperate because GF is a vegetarian so mine could have caviar with it) and some thin slices of rye bread, a small caviar tin filled with "cream cheese" was placed in the center of the table (normally the caviar would be incorporated). The dome was removed and viola, a few slices of sturgeon (for me) and a few slices of mushroom (for GF), were on the platform slowly smoking away. The instructions were of course to create as you wanted, little cream cheese, little sturgeon, little caviar on a slice of bread and WHAM, one of the nicest little bites of interactive food I've ever had. The theatricality of it all was wonderful and the taste made it all that more special.
The rest of the meal was equally impressive, the lobster course was out of this Worl PERFECT and the beef melted in my mouth. Since focus was on my GF (it was her birthday) there were several course where both our preperations were devoid of meat and those courses were so wonderful I missed nothing by not having some "flesh".
The beverage pairings was a little bit of everything, beer, wine, cocktails and it was masterful.
Great food, great people, great time.
Eleven Madison Park
11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010
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