Eleven Madison Park
Tasted Thursday, December 21, 2006 by Keith Levenberg with 526 views
Last night, a few aficionados of California wine and a few disparagers of California wine got together at Eleven Madison Park to taste through the whole lineup of wines from Rhys and Alesia.
The first thing we noticed was that the seven-or-so course seasonal tasting menu has been replaced by a ten-plus course “Gourmand Menu.” Well, we did have plenty of wine to taste through.
Amuses bouches of hamachi, foie gras, and fried sweetbreads
Poached egg with oscetra caviar, sea urchin, and mystery foam—what a dish!
Trio of heirloom beets with chevre cheese—great preparation. These beets got terroir!
Langoustines in a gelee—best part was the dollop of caviar.
Foie gras with veins of Venezualan cocoa beans—Omigod. Foie gras and chocolate. The best thing since Homer Simpson discovered fudge-covered bacon. Actually, the cocoa gives the foie an herbal, even spicy kick. Masterpiece. We went back and raided the Roederer for this dish, which had enough sweetness to dance with it.
Slow-cooked cod with a side of mussels—not bad, but I would have preferred the mussels with a side of cod. Cod’s a pretty flaky fish… nice as fish and chips… but it looks silly in fancy clothes.
Lobster—tastes like lobster. Not an obvious upgrade over steaming in beer or baking with Ritz stuffing.
Truffled chicken, sous vide—Gorgeous. Tastes like chicken in a way that makes you say, “Oh! THAT’s what chicken tastes like!”
Venison crusted with some kind of goop—they seem to misstep with red meat around here. Nothing special. A little dry. And the goop tasted funny.
A grilled cheese sandwich—no, really. A grilled cheese sandwich. Please bring back the old cheese plate, or at least re-conceptualize this dish…
Chocolate souffle with salted caramel ice cream and popcorn and chocolate/caramel sauce—Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.