Saturday, June 12, 2010

Dinner for 4 at Eleven Madison Park (food)

As my readers know, I tend to eat alone or with one friend because it's easier to focus on the food with less people. This time around there were four of us and I must say that the conversation distracted me somewhat from the food and taking pics. The meal was still terrific, but this post is more a chronicling than a review.

Gougeres to start as always.

Hors d'oeuvres. From left to right, carrot ginger marshmallow, tuna tartare, foie gras and asparagus gelee, manila clam tart, and sweetbread cone. The carrot marshmallow has a strong vinegary flavor, and I find that while everyone would say it's interesting, people either love it or hate it. My favorites are the clam tart and the sweetbreads.

Sterling Royal Caviar with spheres of smoked sturgeon and salmon cream. This was creative and delicious. Classic flavors that went together with a new textural twist. As for the hand shadows in the pics, like I said before, I was not particularly focused on perfect pictures.

Santa Barbara sea urchin custard with green apple and shellfish ragout. Good sea urchin flavor and a great mix of textures with the custard, apple, and shellfish pieces.

Garden pea and mint lollipop. This was chilled and refreshing. Interesting, but they now have a carrot version of the lollipop that I find tastier.

"Spring out of Winter" featured variations of asparagus with jamon iberico and freeze dried almond milk and almonds. The combination of the flavorful ham and the asparagus was wonderful while the almond milk added some interesting contrasts in temperature and texture. Definitely had feelings of spring.

Foie gras torchon with tete de cochon, pickled spring vegetables, and horseradish.

Atlantic halibut seared with smoked spring garlic and crayfish. The crayfish went well with the perfectly cooked fish.

The goat's milk butter which we devoured. This was the remains of our second helping.

Nova Scotia Lobster poached with young carrots, ginger, and vadouvan granola. The granola was a great textural touch and the lobster was perfectly cooked as usual.

Red wine braised Grimaud Farms Muscovy duck with foie gras emulsion covered in potato puree. Another heart attack in a bowl.

Herb roasted Colorado lamb with sucrine lettuce, garden peas, and Oregon morels. This was the one dish where all conversation stopped. Great flavors and variations of lamb.

Cheese course customized to each person's tastes.

Pre-dessert of "Soda Pop" featuring flavors of tangerine, grapefruit, pomelo, and lemon. Even after eating it you still had that pop rocks in your mouth fizzling sensation. Whimsical.

Milk and Chocolate. Variations of flavor and texture. A nice dessert, nothing special, but then again we were too full to really care.


The cognac left for us to finish the meal. Very smooth. We sat there for another hour just chatting and enjoying ourselves. Another terrific meal.

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