Thursday, 3 May 2012

Eleven Madison Park

Eleven Madison Park (11 Madison Avenue, New York)

One of our last meals of the trip and the most anticipated. I have been awaiting the day I would be dining at EMP and it was absolutely worth it. The meal was probably in the top two I have ever had, and the service was absolutely impeccable. The dining room was beautiful, vast, old fashioned and elegant. We went for my boyfriend's birthday and they made it incredibly special and unforgettable.

Grid Menu 
Went with the last two on the right. 

Amuse 1: Savoury Black and White Cookies 

Crème fraiche, Black and White truffles, Foie gras filling
Deliciously creamy and very surprising, unexpected, the first of many delightful mouthfuls! 

We had one tequila based cocktail and one gin based martini. I wish I wrote down the name of these cocktails as they both were fantastic. My favourite was the one above, tequila based - reminded me almost of a mojito. 

Apple Tea accompanied with the Brioche below

Brioche, Quail Egg and Bacon 
Buttery, soft brioche topped with a creamy, perfectly cooked egg and a thin sliver of crispy, savoury bacon. 
Delicious bite. 

Yogurt and Chick Peas
Greek yogurt lollipop with fried lentils, dusted with curry. It was cool in temperature, salty, creamy and crunchy, very interesting textures. 
The chickpeas were delicately fried, warm, soft, with a slightly crispy exterior. Accompanied with a yogurt sauce, dill and orange zest, a very tasty amuse. 

Sturgeon Egg with a sabayon, smoked sturgeon and chive oil
My favourite amuse. The texture was cloud like and both the flavours and textures reminded me of bacon and eggs. The smoked sturgeon were delicate bites of delight laying at the bottom of the frothy delight. 

“Jack Rose” 
A pleasant surprise when we were taken back to the kitchen for a liquid amuse prepared table side, as we watched the on-goings in the kitchen. The cocktail contained brandy, grenadine, liquid nitrogen apple puree sorbet and a pomegranate puree that was placed in liquid nitrogen.  There was a nice level of booze, with a syrupy sweetness but surprisingly not too sweet. The pomegranate puff added a great light texture and flavour.

Homemade Bread Rolls with Goat's and Cow Butter 
Amazing. The bread rolls were warm, flaky, soft, buttery with a crispy exterior. Reminded me very much of a warm,buttery croissant. We could not resist a second round and the goats butter was a creamy delight.

Foie Gras
Seared with Kohlrabi, Pork and Burnt Ginger
Tied for my favourite dish of today. The warm foie gras was delicate, supple, delectably fatty and it paired well with the pork & ginger broth. The Kohlrabi provided a beautiful contrast of texture and balance to the foie gras. Fireworks of flavours.

Wine Pairing: Le Roc des Anges, Les Vieilles
Vignes, Rousillon, France 2009

Unveiling of the Foie Gras, like a hidden treasure.

Poached with Quail Egg, Shad Roe and Rye
This dish was creamy and milky from the supple white asapragus and the runny quail egg. The crunchy rye tweel flavoured so similar to a fresh and delicate crouton. 

Wine Pairing: Patrick Piuze, Vaucoupin,
Premier Cru, Chablis, Burgundy France 2009

Poached with Meyer Lemon, Burnt Leek and Shellfish Bisque
The butter poached lobster was succulent and juicy and some acid from the meyer lemon.  The burnt leek with the black shellfish bisque created a smokey, ashy, shellfish flavour. 

Wine Pairing: Do Ferreiro, Val do Saines, Rias Baixas, Galicia, Spain 2010

Poached with Pine, Mushroom and Garlic
Nice meaty white fish, perfectly cooked. Well paired with the sweet roasted garlic pieces and the mushrooms were also very meaty, with a wonderful grilled flavour. 

Wine Pairing: Lopez de Heredia, Vina, Gravonia, Reserva Rioja, Spain 2002

Roasted with Wood Sorrel and Marble potatoes
The rib eye, dry-aged for 55 days, excellently seasoned with sea salt and pepper. Delicious, dry aged flavour with a nice level of fat. The baby marble potatoes was delicious, along with the mini white mushrooms and the bone marrow infused beef jus created for probably my favourite dish of the day.

Wine Pairing: Chateau Haut-Segottes, Grand Cru, Saint-Emilion, Bordeaux, France 2006

Braised Cheeks with Peas, Acorn and Guanciale
Very rich, tender and juicy pork with almost this sweet, savoury glaze. Medley of flavours of the peas, acorns and the guanciale were complex and excellently paired with the wine. 

Wine Pairing: Domaine de la Butte, Le Haut de la Butte, Bourgueil, France 2010

New York Classic Egg Cream 
Tableside prepared concoction, our first palette cleanser. It included milk, seltzer, cocoa nibs and hints of citrus. Very tasty, frothy and fresh. 

Served right before dessert, we receive their rendition of the cheesecake. It was composed of a light panna cotta, a layer of blood orange gelee, a goat cheese meringue and an ice cream made of blood orange. Smooth, light on the palette and very delicious. I enjoyed this very much.

Sorbet with Lavender, Orange and Maldon Sea Salt
Texturally very interesting and the flavours were fantastic. The rich chocolate played nicely with the maldon sea salt. I am a fan of chocolate and orange but I found it hard to pick up on the lavender notes.

Wine Pairing: Domaine La Tour Vielle, Rimage 2009

Sorbet with Coconut, Jalapeno and Lime
This was probably my least favourite dish of the day. The actual dessert was actually quite nice but I did not enjoy the jalapeno. In my opinion, it just did not go well with the dish.

Wine Pairing: Philippe Mur, Clos Baste, Pacherenc du Vic-Bilh, Southwest, France 2010

Black and White Cookies

Hazelnut topped biscuits with sea salt 

Eleven Madison Park on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Katz Deli & Russ and Daughters

Katz's Deli (205 East Houston Street, New York)
We had to make it down to both Russ and Daughters and Katz's Deli in the LES, as they are both New York landmarks and was told they could not to be missed. We started first at Katz's Deli and you can see that everything about the place, the people, the service is completely old school, New York style diner. We came to get their specialty, the Pastrami and thank god I did not miss this stop. I will probably come here on every single NY trip for the rest of eternity, just such a classic done right.

Rueben with Pastrami

Pickles: The acid is very much needed to balance the pastrami.

Russ and Daughters (179 East Houston Street, NY)
After Katz, we headed a couple doors down to Russ and Daughters. I am a salmon lover and they are known for their high quality lox and smoked salmon in many variations. We were guided to get the Nova, which is a smoked salmon but less salty, more mild in flavour but incredibly fatty and succulent. The salmon was incredibly fresh, luscious and delicious.

Display of Salmon .. YUM

Sesame Bagel with Scallion Cream cheese, Nova Salmon and Red Onion 

Russ & Daughters on Urbanspoon
Katz's Deli on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 1 May 2012


Tertulia (359 West 6th Street, NY)

As I am a huge fan of Spanish cuisine after my trip to Spain last year, this was one of the most anticipated meals in NY. They do not take reservations and always have crazy long waits, any day of the week. The interior is very rustic and lively, a totally fun atmosphere and the food is fantastic. Tertulia lived up to the hype and if I lived in the city, I would frequent here. I will be back for the paella next time I am in New York (in June)!

Chalkboard Drink Menu 

Jamon Iberico de Bellota
Cinco Jotas acorn-fed Ibérico ham, cut by hand
Melt in your mouth madness! The iberico was just as I remember, incredibly savoury, salty, fatty, melt in your mouth juiciness. LOVE IT! 

Tosta huevo roto y jamon Ibérico/ Crushed egg, potato, Ibérico ham
A delicious one bite appetizer. Egg paired with a potato preparation similar to a potato rosti and Iberico Jamon. 

Nuestras Patatas/Crispy Potatoes, Pimentón de la Vera, garlic all i oli
A classic in Spanish food, potato bravas. Salty, creamy, fried potato goodness.

Croquetas de Jamón Ibérico
Crispy croquettes with a immensely creamy Ibérico and potato filling. Delicious.

Arroz a la Plancha/ Calasparra rice, snails, wild mushrooms, celery, fennel, Ibérico ham
Every blog post I have read raved about this particular dish. It was not my favourite but it was similar to a risotto dish in an omelet style topped with Ibérico. It was quite flavourful but I guess I was looking for something more similar to the Paella (which I am coming back for 100%). 

Cordero/Grilled Lamb Breast, creamy farro, cauliflower 
Amazing. The grilled lamb breast was similar in texture to a braised pork belly and the flavour reminded me of Greek lamb gyros. It was incredibly savoury and delicious. This a must order! Sorry for the messy plate, we started eating before we took the photo.

Tertulia on Urbanspoon