Years ago, in my youth, when we were just starting to become interested in fine dining chefs and restaurants, my brother's first restaurant crush was Eleven Madison Park. I, unbeknownst to me at the time, had recently started a tradition where we would give each other cookbooks or another food related publication at gift-bearing occasions, and his response was the Eleven Madison Park cookbook. So when it was announced last winter that they were changing the format of their menu to one a bit shorter and less extravagant, I knew that we had to get our asses down there because when I do a long tasting, I want ALL. THE. POMP. Now, I know that that makes me sound infinitely pretentious, but I just want to say to anyone who reads this blog and will continue to read it that I live a lifestyle likely much more modest than what you may imagine [said as I sit in the middle of my tornado-aftermath, will forever look like I moved in a week ago apartment]. I just like to treat myself on occasion, and these occasions by nature tend to be a little more post-worthy.
Now, on to the meal. As expected, the food was amazing and the service set a new standard - it was always attentive but without the ever-present feeling of being watched. And yet, if there's anything I could pinpoint that sets Eleven Madison Park apart from other fine dining establishments, it would be the attention to detail and the constant reassurances that it is a shame-free zone. To begin, onions are and have been my lifelong, mortal enemy. I always tell restaurants this with a touch of apology in my voice because I know I'm being obnoxious, but I can't help what I hate to the core of my being. However, here, they got my thoughts on every product in the same family and flavor profile to be able to custom-tailor the experience to me. Oh my wow. And to finish, the menu given to me at the end of the meal (set within the caviar benedict tin pictured) was printed specifically for the dishes that I ate. Little moments like this are scattered throughout your entire experience, and whether you notice or not, you will know that you're being looked after by safe and loving hands.
Date: January 2016
Camera: Canon 6D