Eleven Madison Park is firmly one of the best restaurants in the world and personally is one of my very favorite high end restaurants. Loosely defined as "a contemporary American Restaurant", it sits on lovely Madison Square Park in New York City in a gorgeous landmarked Art Deco building. Upon arrival you are greeted by a silver minimalist sign with a logo that incorporates the etching of four leaves that represent the types of trees just outside in the Park.
The restaurant, in operation since 1998, is owned and operated by the brilliant Swiss Chef Daniel Humm (3 michelin stars) and Will Guidara, who also share ownership of the NoMad restaurant in the same-named hotel. Notable, Eleven Madison ranks fifth out of the World's Best Restaurants by San Pellegrino rankings in 2015. Chef Humm was also awarded Outstanding Chef by the James Beard Awards.
The stunning art deco design of the restaurant along with expansive contemporary floral displays complement the fine dining experience; which offers a divine multi-course tasting menu.
A couple years ago my husband and
I were there enjoying a phenomenal dinner with friends that were in town. At one point in the meal a member of the waitstaff stopped by and attached a meat grinder to our table for the upcoming course. Then out came the most beautiful carrots I have ever seen. They had been peeled, but the vibrant green tops were still intact. The dish was "Carrot Tartare" and the carrots were ground for us table side. We all had an assortment of accompaniments so we could customize our own experience and taste of our fun hands on carrot course.
When our server checked back in with us, I enthusiastically exclaimed "Bunnies everywhere would adore this dish!" (I may have had a few glasses of wine by this point in time).
Here's where the outstanding part comes in. A couple courses later, our wonderful server comes back and states "I shared your comment about the carrot course with the kitchen and it inspired our kitchen artist" (?!?! What resto has a kitchen artist on staff??!!) He then gave us the most beautiful drawing (in the last image below) that the kitchen artist made for us. I since framed it and it's a very special memory of a truly wonderful and highly unexpected night at Eleven Madison.