The once à la carte menu at Eleven Madison Park has been relinquished in favor of a three-tier tasting menu. The offering of three or four courses or the gourmand of eleven courses depends on how hungry you are, how much time you have or how much of a dent you want to put on your plastic. We decided on the middle tier of four courses.
A series of bite-sized morsels set the stage for the courses to come. Our eyes lit up as we admired the stunning display of delicacies. To label them as hors d’oeuvres would be pedestrian on my part. Crisp sweetbread cornet, citrus-marinated hamachi wrap with zucchini and tobiko, black truffle macaroon stuffed with foie gras accompanied by apple cider gelée, and my favorite — goat cheese galette with Meyer lemon comfiture.
My gnocchi appetizer of la ratte potatoes with Hawaiian prawns, calamari, celery and Meyer lemon was simply delightful. The poached Nova Scotia lobster with Florence fennel and chamomile dazzled my taste buds and had me wishing for more. But the showstopper was the candy bar — shaped suckling pig confit. The slow cooking technique brought out all the juicy flavors that are simply inherent in this dish. The last of the four courses was the dessert or a selection of cheeses. I chose without hesitation the blood orange tart with fromage blanc and fennel ice cream. It was a perfect finale to an eventful meal.