The peerless Eleven Madison Park restaurant boasts needing “. . . a fourth Michelin star, a fifth NYT star, and a sixth Yelp! star.” It is in a league of its own. Many of its patrons have flown from Asia and Europe just to dine here.
Eleven Madison Park first opened in 1998 in the Metropolitan Life building – now known as MetLife North – a landmark art deco building with soaring views of Madison Square Park. The building remains a fixture in the neighborhood despite changes to the once grand plans for it to be the world’s tallest when it was first erected in 1909. The restaurant’s original glamour and grandeur remain through it’s evolution from French brasserie to its current incarnation. Renowned Bentel & Bentel Architects designed the restaurant with roots in modern and contemporary styles. Many of the design elements in the restaurant come from the original building, including the nickel and marble front doors, the hanging pendant light fixtures, the ceiling molding, and the marble flooring at the front entrance.
Behind the menu of Eleven Madison Park has been Swiss-born Chef Daniel Humm. Having trained with chefs throughout Europe, Chef Humm trained with renowned chefs throughout Europe producing his very classical Western approach to food, which is strongly rooted in French cuisine. After arriving in San Francisco, he began to experiment and defined his own style, utilizing the abundant, local, seasonal produce that California had to offer. Transitioning to New York for Eleven Madison Park, his culinary style continued to evolve as he gained confidence and experience. “I think of our food at Eleven Madison Park as being contemporary American with a focus on New York. We showcase the great bounty of fruits, vegetables, fish, and meat from around the state, celebrating the cultural history of so many iconic dishes that were born here.” Never satisfied with the menu, he explained, “My style of cooking continually evolves as we’re always trying to push the restaurant forward and think about how to create a better experience for our guests.” The current “New York menu” grew and adapted to focus on telling a story and creating a one-of-a-kind experience for their guests.
Chef Humm’s favorite dish on the menu has been the “Milk and Honey” dessert. As a child, he enjoyed having a mug of warm milk with honey before bed; he brought those nostalgic flavors together in this dessert, a dish close to his heart. Though no longer served at Eleven Madison Park, the dessert has been given new life at the NoMad. When asked what is his drink of choice, he easily referred to a classic Manhattan, his go-to beverage that tips a hat to his new adopted home of New York City. If you don’t have a go-to beverage, put your tastebuds in the trusted hands of the wine director Dustin Wilson or maybe the bar manager Leo Robitschek, both of whom will certainly find a delectable way to quench your thirst.
Summer has always been Chef Humm’s favorite season, and the summer menu showcased many of the abundantly available local ingredients, including tomatoes, eggplant, squash, and strawberries. “Whether it is at a local farm or farmer’s market, it is truly amazing to get to meet the people who devote their lives to growing the delicious fruits, vegetables, and grains that sustain us. It puts what we eat into perspective and makes us realize the nobility of what they do, day in and day out”. So, take Chef Humm’s recommendation and meet a local farmer today!
Please visit http://elevenmadisonpark.com for information regarding the menu or to make a reservation. If you are an avid locavore, Eleven Madison Park’s newest cookbook “I Love New York: Ingredients and Recipes” is also now available for purchase from their website.