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Restaurants & Bars

Eleven Madison Park Review or Where's Mario

DoctortedNYC | Feb 8, 200701:39 PM    

If going by previous posts here about the ups and downs at eating at Mario Batali's various restaurants, I can offer a bit of insight as to what he was doing on at least one day this week.

I had high hopes for lunch at EMP and I can say they were met...I knew I had good luck when Danny Myer himself was greeting custumers, but knew I hit the jackpot when Mario Batali dropped in for lunch. I said hello to him and he said "We were in good hands" He was right. The thing Danny Meyers restaurants are known for is good service and EMP is no exception. He must have the highest staff: customer ratio in the business. In general they also appear older and more experienced. The space is a soaring beautiful, art deco restored room with huge windows letting in sunlight on a brutally cold February day. For appetizers my fiance had the Mace salad which was tender, buttery with a nice light dressing. I had the confit of tuna. Being a fan of raw fish I try this dish frequently as it seems to be a staple on many high end restaurant appetizer offerings. I must admit this was the best I've ever had. At first I thought the addition of green apple and celery would be off balance but it was pure genius. Perfect complimentary taste and texture to the tuna whose delicate nature is often overpowered by citrusy sauces. For mains we both had the buttery tender poularde accompanied with a rich truffle sauce surrounded by dots[ yes dots] of mashed squash and potatoes. Bread was good,especially the cheese gougeres. Cheese plate was fabulous. Four selections, all good. The desert was an excellent dense peanut carmel tart with a cherry ice cream... Complaints? Portions a bit small. Overall though a really fine lunch. Oh yes, and on the way out Mario stopped by our table and said he really enjoyed it too!

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