Went to Eleven Madison Park last night for the first time and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Upon walking in I immediately noticed the immense space the restaurant occupies, high ceilings, enormous floral arrangements, and the overall scale of the place.
The little Gruyere Cheese Rolls brought to the table were delicious. Light and airy but rich at the same time, these were very nice. A great way to begin the meal, rather than typical bread or rolls and butter, although that did follow after a few more minutes had passed.
Started with a Saint-Julien Bordeaux and the Sautéed Sweetbreads with Haricots Verts and Verjus Grapes. Delicious Sweetbreads, although I havent tried this an adequate amount to really see how it measures up. The Verjus Grapes provided a nice contrast and the dish was very enjoyable. Also, had a healthy sample of the Seared Foie Gras appetizer, which was first-rate. Excellent quality Foie Gras, flawlessly cooked and the accompanying coulis was balanced perfectly.
For an Entrée I selected the Roasted Loin and Braised Shank of Venison. This was matched with impeccably sautéed Brussel Sprouts (personal favorite) with the right amount of crunch and buttery Spaghetti Squash. The Roasted Venison Loin was gorgeous medium-rare and had a brilliant deep red color. The Braised Shank meat was extremely tender and flavorful, falling apart with the touch of my fork.
Then we moved onto desert, tried several sweet treats and some 15-year Madeira. The chocolate soufflé was ultra-rich and decadent, an extremely large dessert as well. However, my favorite was the Vanilla-Roasted Pineapple Cheesecake served with a Coconut-Rum Sorbet. The pineapple was diced, extremely fresh and flavorful. The Sorbet was very refreshing and the entire dish was sitting in a layer pineapple juice. This proved wonderful once the sorbet started to melt, pieces of the cheesecake started falling in and the pineapple juice became most flavorful.
I really enjoyed the meal, the staff was very professional, food was excellent and they had a great wine list with many by the glass. For the most part portions were very small but the richness and flavor concentration all made up for that. Overall, a very pleasurable experience and another fine night out in this great city.