My former roomie Wenting just told me that Eleven Madison Park was ranked the top restaurant in NYC by New York Magazine with Per Se at number three. Hmm…something is rotten in the state of Denmark.
I dined at Eleven Madison Park with hubby and my parents not too long after my experience at Per Se. I completely disagree with New York Magazine’s ranking that Eleven Madison Park is better than Per Se. Unless you factor in the cost. Eleven Madison Park is about half the price as Per Se and a lot easier to get reservations. It cannot compare to Per Se in terms of food, quality, quantity, atmosphere, and service.
My main rant about Eleven Madison Park is the food. The plating is gorgeous, even more so than Per Se. But plating should not outrank food. Nothing stood out to me and nothing ranked higher than a 7/10 in terms of taste, hubby and my parents agree. But do check out the gorgeous plating:
Some kind of cracker and some kind of weird consume. Real descriptive, I know. But I do not remember the taste. That is what I feel about most of their dishes. Nothing is memorable. In fact, if it was not for Wenting asking for my opinion of the restaurant, I would have forgotten that I even ate there.
Their famous egg. I found it too salty, and I like salt.
The best looking Foie Gras I ever saw. I never liked Foie Gras, too rich and creamy, and this failed to impress me or hubby. But my dad enjoyed this. He is the only one to finish the entire portion.
Langoustine wrapped with avocado. This is a beautiful dish. It tasted good but how can you mess up with those two ingredients?
Lobster…slightly undercooked, flavoring was bland as well. Cannot even compare to a Chinese restaurant’s lobster with black bean sauce, never mind Per Se’s lobster.
Some kind of veal. It was forgettable, tasted like wedding reception food.
Pork was not bad but not mind-blowing either. The best out of all the entrees.
Dessert, again easy on the eyes but mediocre on the taste buds.
Overall: Perhaps, we went on an off day, but I am not looking to dine here again unless someone else is picking up the check. It seems to be a place where a date is looking to impress you by taking you to a 3 Michelin Star restaurant but does not want to shell out the money for Per Se. I am fully aware of how snarky my comment is but I stand by it. If you care about being full from a meal, do not come here either. I was not full after this meal, and needed a burger at Shake Shack(located right across the street) to fill me up.
Note on Michelin rating: I am a lukewarm fan, it really is a hit or miss. One of the best restaurants in terms of food, atmosphere, service, that hubby and I tried in Hong Kong recently is not even listed as a recommendation.