Eleven Madison Park is one of the newest restaurants to be awarded 3 Michelin stars in New York, having been upgraded from its 1 Michelin star status in the 2011 guide to the coveted 3 Michelin Stars in the 2012 guide.
From my experience of the lunch that I had, it not only deserved to be the crown jewel in the Danny Meyer empire, it definitely deserved every one of those stars.
There are many plus points that led me to think highly of the meal. Food aside, the service was impeccable; It was hard to fault the attentive yet non intrusive service. A good gauge of how well trained the staff are, is to ask them questions about the ingredients or cooking techniques of the dishes. At EMP, the wait staff readily answers your question with confidence without having to scoot off to seek the opinion of a manager or someone from the kitchen.
Chef Eric Ripert – I’ve heard of his name, I’ve watched shows that he has hosted (Avec Eric, anyone?), I’ve seen him on Top Chef, and I’ve read his cook books. I’m glad to say that I’ve met him and dined at his restaurant, Le Bernardin, in New York. I made my reservations for lunch on OpenTable.com some weeks ahead of my planned visit, yet some of my initial date choices were already full for both sittings.
The moment that I stepped into Le Bernardin, I thought, “Wow, this is some restaurant, eh?” High ceilings, fairly large tables and many wait staff, all of whom serve with a smile. I checked in my coat and was seated at a table. I perused the menu and made a mental note of what to choose. Nonetheless, I asked my server for his recommendations. I was rather glad that with the exception of dessert, his recommendations checked with mine. It was like telepathy, I kid you not.
I’ve heard so much of Le Bernardin prior to my visit (even my Uncle who’s a chef and lives in New York has praises for it) and so, with built up anticipation and eagerness to try the food here, it was time to get my adventure started..