Great restaurants in New York City?!? Who knew? Just kidding, of course. Other cities have their stars, but The Big Apple is a whole galaxy of epicurean super novae. That’s one of the main reasons why I visit The City: I love to eat.
“The City” is not to be confused with “The City” that one means when talking about San Francisco. Residents of both believe their hometown is THE ONE that deserves the capitalization. Everywhere else is just a city.
The other night we had the pleasure of dining at Eleven Madison Park. The space is lovely and service was attentive, but not obtrusive. I kept wondering how my water glass and bread plate got refilled without me noticing. It just seemed to keep happening like some sort of Hanukkah miracle.
The amuse bouche was great. I wish I could remember the French name for it but it apparently meant soup. It was a frothy, artichoke cream with pear oil and a few caviar eggs at the bottom. Sounds bizarre I know, but I loved it.
Di Palo Ricotta – Gnocchi with Violet Artichokes, Taggiasca Olives and Bacon
Hawaiian Prawns – Roulade with Avocado, Lime and Yogurt
Four Story Hill Farm Suckling Pig – Roasted with Sweet Potato, Brussels Sprouts, Pickled Plums and Amaretti
Millbrook Farms Venison – Herb Roasted with Glazed Bosc Pear, Black Trumpet Mushrooms and Bacon
Everything was delicious and beautifully presented, but if it all sounds heavy to you, you’re right. Dining out a fancy NY restaurant like Eleven Madison is not for the faint of heart, stomach, or wallet. Three-Course Prix Fixe, two savory, one sweet is $88. An eleven course chef’s tasting menu is $175. A “Taste of Autumn” seven course menu is $125.
The wine list was impressively broad but also had some impressive price tags. Staying under $100 per bottle was not an easy thing to do, but we did it. Kudos to the sommelier who treated our “cheap” bottles as respectfully and professionally as he would if they cost 4 times as much.

  • 2007 Failla (Failla Jordan) Pinot Noir Estate Sonoma Coast – USA, California, Sonoma County, Sonoma Coast (11/23/2009)
    Delicate strawberry fruit is currently dominated by bracing acidity. Elements of cinnamon and clove. This wine needs time but hints of really nice things to come. Blind, I would have guessed Oregon rather than Sonoma. $75 on tEleven Madison’s wine list.(86 pts.)
  • 2006 Domaine Jean-Michel Gaunoux Meursault Les Terres Blanches – France, Burgundy, Côte de Beaune, Meursault (11/23/2009)
    Clean and fresh, light on the palate with green apple, stone, and lemon zest. Interesting minerality. $95 on Eleven Madison’s wine list.(88 pts.)
  • Posted from CellarTracker

This kind of dining can be fun, but Sasha’s and my preferences run more towards ethnic foods, particularly asian influenced cuisine. We tried two such places during our short stay in Manhattan. Both were highly recommended to us by locals and Zagat’s guide. I won’t be doing a separate blog entry for Bar Bao or Shun Lee Palace but while both were okay, they were not as good as we’re used to back in the Bay Area. In my opinion, while Manhattan may be #1 overall in dining destinations, other cities including San Francisco and Vancouver have it beat on Asian fare. Feel free to argue and/or post suggestions that may change my mind. I’d love some more great options in NYC.

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