Today, as we all know was the opening day of Restaurant Week and had lunch with my wife and Dad at Eleven Madison Park.
First thing that caught my attention...many choices to pick from. There were five appetizers, five entrees and five desserts, as opposed to the two or three choices you get at many of the Restaurant Week participants. This is especially good because my wife tends to be a bit more picky about food. So here's what I ate (and brief info about the others).
Orecchiette and Braised Tuna
- parsley, picholine and nicoise olive beurre blanc
This was fantastic. Both my wife and I had this and we were both impressed. The olives were perfect. The celery added a great texture to the supple and perfect orecchiette. The tuna was cooked just right with just the amount of meat added to the dish (more than less, in tiny, barely bite size pieces). Unfortunately this was the best dish of the lunch...however...my father said that the Seafood Borscht was the best he'd ever had.
Saute of Beef and Portobello "Stroganoff"
- parslied basmati rice and brocoli rabe
This was not the best thing to have after the app., but I was interested in seeing how it would taste (and was recommended to me by the captain. She also recommended the Mackeral, which I just wasn't in the mood for...but my father was...he said it was very good but didn't elaborate too much.)The Stroganoff was good. Nothing more nothing less. The sauce, however, was fantastic. The beef just seemed, stringy.
My wife had the Butternut Squash and Pea Shoot Ricotta Ravioli. The trick, my wife figured out a little too late, was to eat a bite of each ravioli (2 large ones, 1 B. Squash, 1 Pea Shoot Ricotta) at the same time. Otherwise the butternut squash was too sweet and the pea shoot ricotta was too bland. Otherwise, but well put together. She regrets not figuring it out earlier but enjoyed it nonetheless.
Blood Orange Soup, Red Grapefruit Sorbet
This was great...and perhaps the best of the desserts offered. The soup and sorbet was zingy and divine. The nougat was quite good as well and accompanied the rest pretty well.
Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
My wife had this and did not like it at all. Big chunks of mint leaves were still intact and after trying it myself was shocked at how disappointing this was. The chocolate was almost burnt tasting. Thumbs down. No need to finish, let alone order this dessert. My dad had the pineapple cake (?). He didn't comment on it...which means it was comme ci comme ca. Though he did finish it without complaint.
Important to note...the Muscadet Sevre et Maine, Domaine de Perrier (Loires) 2000 was a perfect wine ($5!) to my appetizer. Just right.
Overall a pleasant experience...the real dessert was a $20.04 gift certificate to eat at Eleven Madison Park for dinner that they gave us each. (Are you kidding me? I just ate lunch for free! - sort of). We'll be back for dinner next week I think.
But tonight we are going to Union Square Cafe (for the first time - can you believe it?). Will report tonight or tomorrow.