By this point of the trip I had to take a 7th inning stretch. Taking a break from Michelin Stars for lunch and hit up K-Town for some Wooriji. $10 for a big box of food I’d say was pretty worth it.
Day 4: Star Count 15
Eleven Madison Park
Bottom of the seventh, joined by my sister and her husband for a taste at Eleven Madison Park. Late dinner at around 9:30, I decided to have the 15 course Tasting Menu with the $225 Wine pairings rather than the $135 pairings. And as my sister can bear witness, that extra $90 is money well spent. Here is the Menu with pairings graciously provided by the restaurant. Along with photos of most of the courses.
And the Food:
I had a real problem with what they were calling “courses”. 15 courses sounds like a lot but many of them were just bites, or fillers or palate cleansers, which is why many pictures are missing. I just didn’t realize that some of the stuff they presented were actually dishes. And then some of the courses were broken into two parts served separately. Anyway, I could give a whole rant on that topic but we’ll go back to how the food actually tasted. Strictly food-wise, honestly it was everywhere. I didn’t really get a sense of any real flavour progression of the menu, or theme. I guess it kind of built up to the Duck but then sharply dropped off after that. Don’t get me wrong, each dish by itself was for the most part very good, except for the duck which I felt had a very salty and over-seasoned skin. But the one saving grace was the wine pairings. More specifically, the 225 wine pairings. I had some tastes of the food with the other wines at times since my sister decided to go with the 135, but let me tell you, the difference is night and day. In fact, the wine went so well with the dishes, the way it melded with the different flavours of each dish, I almost didn’t care if the course progression was like a roller coaster ride. Definitely Eleven Madison for me was all about the careful selection of wine to pair with each dish. Not just for the star of each dish, but each wine pairs with each and every element and ingredient on the plate. Definitely a masterful marriage of food and drink.
My Rating 4/5. Overall experience was very pleasant lifted by the wine. Food-wise very average and had a couple slip ups. So if you ever find yourself at Eleven Madison and have to decide between a $440 or $350 meal, go with the $440, you wont regret it. There are also a couple little gems dining here but I think those are best left as a surprise as they definitely make the dining experience a unique one.