Yes, the New York City Wine and Food Festival kicked off last night — with a dinner celebrating the ingredients and recipes of New York City … cooked by a Swiss-born chef. But while that dinner, hosted by Eleven Madison Park’s chef/owner, Daniel Humm, was a one-time thing, diners can celebrate the many pleasures of the Big Apple at his restaurant at any time.
Humm has taken to the city’s status as the “Great Melting Pot,” as well as the many immigrants before him, especially with his current menu, a $195 fixed-price, 15-course parade that celebrates “the extraordinary agricultural bounty of New York and the centuries-old culinary traditions that have taken root here.” What that means is a meal book-ended with black-and-white cookies, savory and sweet; an egg cream intermezzo; and a course of foie gras, straight from upstate. An homage to the classic delicatessen, however, is the dazzler in presentation and flavor. Sturgeon arrives under a smoke-filled glass cloche, covering smoldering wood chips. When the dome is lifted, a cloud fans out with a tempting, bacon-esque aroma, revealing the tender slices of fish. It comes with all of the appropriate accoutrements: “everything bagel” crisps; a jar of neatly sliced pickles; and a tin of glistening black caviar, sitting atop a bed of cream cheese. Put the elements together, and it’s as if you’ve died and gone to nosh heaven.
Opened in 1998 by quintessential NYC dining impresario Danny Meyer, Eleven Madison Park saw chef Daniel Humm come on board in 2006, before he purchased it from Meyer with partner Will Guidara in 2011. During Humm’s tenure, the restaurant has attained every honor possible: including four stars from The New York Times; a 28 rating from the Zagat Survey; three stars from the Michelin Guide; and six James Beard Foundation Awards. That Humm — typical, over-achieving New Yorker.
Eleven Madison Park
11 Madison Ave.