Good food deals in New York, does that really exist? Yes, I am a telling you that there are reasonable lunch deals at some fine restaurants in the city that are worth trying out. Eleven Madison Park has been on my list, and since the dinner menu is usually expensive, eating lunch there is the best way to go for me. This is good news for the poor / price sensitive foodies out there, so read on.
Eleven Madison Park features a $28 two-course lunch prix fix menu. Even though that might not sound like a lot, with most fine dining restaurants they give you as much bread as you like AND bring amuse-bouche to start off your meals, so you are well covered. In fact, you can probably feel full on a two-course meal.
After quizzing the waiter with numerous questions about what things were, I was able to decide upon the perfect balance to create a surf and turf lunch.
The meal started off with an amuse-bouche; one of them was a foie gras macaron with apple mango chutney in the middle. Even though I am not usually a fan of foie gras, I actually enjoyed the macaron. It started with a salty flavor and progressively ended with a sweet tang. It was surprisingly pleasant to pop into your mouth, previewing the playful ingredient combinations that lay ahead.
This dish was wonderfully constructed, light and refreshing, perfect for springtime. The Balik Salmon was plated with pommes dauphine, frisée, and crème fraîche. I particularly liked the pomme dauphine because of its softness combined with the milky and smooth texture of the crème fraîche that perfectly complimented the smoky, silky salmon. They also placed some salmon roe within the frisée salad, a nice addition to the plate.
The cochon de lait, aka “pigs in milk” or “suckling pig”, was served with rhubarb, spring onion, and ice wine vinegar that poured onto your dish. They had small cuts of the different parts such as the crispy fatty belly. I felt that the rhubarb and ice wine vinegar provided a nice touch of sweetness that helped cut the fatty oily portions of the dish. The only unappetizing part was when I ate the bulb part of the spring onion, leaving me feeling like intense spicy and sharp flavors exploded in my mouth. Aside from that, it satisfied my pork craving.
Although I didn’t order this dish, it was still pretty to look at and worth noting. It is the Scottish Salmon Mi-Cuit. From a small bite I had, the fish was nicely cooked (maybe sous-vided?) and definitely gave the salmon a really silky and smooth texture.
I’m glad I went to Eleven Madison Park for lunch because at least I know that this isn’t just another hyped-up restaurant in Manhattan, and trust me, there are plenty of those. Perhaps one day I can return for dinner, see and taste more of their menu, and get a full dining experience. Until then, relatively cheap lunch prix fixes are the way to go.