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Heading back to EMP next week - so a few meandering questions:

sgordon | Feb 6, 201202:00 PM

So... the GF has informed me that we're going to Eleven Madison Park for my birthday (well, not ON my birthday, because that's the 14th... so the day after...) and, as expected, I couldn't be happier. We were supposed to go last year, only some unexpected financial issues forced us to cancel, but this year we're well-prepared. Prepared enough that we might even be considering doing a tasting menu. (We WERE prepared to do Per Se, I've been informed, until she kiboshed it, knowing my various reasons for disliking PS that I won't go into here...)

So... questions, to anyone who's done the tasting menu recently - how is it, what's on it? There are a few tasting-menu-only things I've seen - like the "clambake" - that would be awesome, something I know we'd both love.

But speaking of "both" - one of my issues with tasting menus is that it takes a bit of fun out of a meal if everyone's getting the same dishes - we're the sorts who enjoy sharing, passing bites, etc. Just more romantic, IMHO. While I know they're pretty malleable with advance notice, I've never actually gone off-menu there, aside from normal things like asking for a hot prep on foie gras rather than a torchon.

We wouldn't, like, ask for two completely different menus top-to-bottom, but if a few courses could be switcheroo'd to reflect our tastes - say, every other one, or even just the proper "apps" and "mains" (using those terms loosely in regards to a tasting menu) it'd be pretty great. We have similar tastes, to some degree (we're both obsessed with Nordic cuisine, for whatever reason, at the moment) but with some differences. I'd rather it not be simply her putting up with my tastes for the evening if we're to go the TM route. She's more apt to go for veggies, any kind of seafood - be it raw, smoked, pickled... (especially pickled... though what Chef Humm would do with herring, I have no idea...) while I'm all about shellfish and big, intense proteins - the gamier the better. Bring on the wild hare (please!), the reindeer, the moose... (okay, that last one might be a tall order...)

Well, that's all beside the point, I suppose - I'm not about to call up and ask Humm to prepare his take on a rustic Scandinavian feast or anything... lord knows what that would cost. More wondering if any of the regular 'hounders have gone off-menu, how FAR off-menu you've wandered, how much advance notice special requests (aside from the normal "special" requests, like the duck) took, etc. Really, even though it's my birthday, I want this to be a special meal for her as well. Moreso than for me, honestly, as this'll be her first time at EMP.

Per Se
10 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10019

Eleven Madison Park
11 Madison Ave., New York, NY 10010

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