My wife and I ate at Eleven Madison Park last night on a whim. We started off in the bar, drinking martinis with some of those delicious gougeres on the side, and decided to stay.
As you might expect for a Danny Meyer place, the service was very good and the experience was first-rate. I know they have a reasonably new chef, and frankly the food was the only disappointment of the evening.
I started with the Poached Organic Egg with Everglades Frogs' Legs and Spring Garlic. This was fine -- I love anything with egg -- but there wasn't as much meat as I might have expected. My wife has the White Asparagus Veloute with Lobster, Apple Wood Smoked Bacon and Spring Onion Oil. The seasoning of this dish was just a bit off; too much salt did not allow the flavors to come through.
For mains, I had the Four Story Hill Farm Suckling Pig with Apple-Saffron Puree and Cider Jus. The meat was delicious...crispy on top, moist beneath. The rest of the dish was ho-hum. My wife had the Poached Nova Scotia Lobster with Ratatouille and Gewurtraminer. This dish was ho-hum too. Plus, we noticed a theme: foam. There was foam everywhere! In the appetizers, in the entrees. We started to feel turned off by the conciously "high concept" twists at a place like EMP.
Desserts were a bit better. Don't have those written down, but we did enjoy that part of the meal a bit more....some of the "extras" they give you are pretty delicious (i.e. little molten chocolate puffs).
All-in-all, this was a good experience. A relaxing, even sybaritic, Friday night dinner. Not cheap, but the service and atmosphere are worth it in my opinion. Could they just ditch the foam?