Eleven Madison Park 11/11/11

We have been to many parties celebrating events in the life of Eleven Madison Park, and they are always a lot of fun. The (by invitation only) party celebrating the official publication date of Eleven Madison Park: The Cookbook took place appropriately on 11/11/11. For this occasion, Will Guidara, Daniel Humm, and the staff provided a few unexpected twists.

One thing you can always count on at EMP parties is that there will be music. As we stepped into the restaurant and exchanged warm hellos with the reception staff, we were greeted by the sophisticated sounds of the Jazz at Lincoln Center band, which kept things lively throughout the evening.

Jazz Band

In the dining room and bar area, Champagne was flowing, and servers circulated constantly with trays of familiar hors d’oeuvres: Crispy Chicken Skin with Chicken Liver, Foie Gras Torchon with Raspberry Gelée, Scallop Ceviche with Tangerine, Smoked Sturgeon Sabayon with Chive Oil and, of course, Gougères.

Hors d'Oeuvres:  Chicken Skins with Chicken Liver

But this party, unlike previous ones, was not confined to the dining room and bar. It was “Open House” in the kitchen, so guests were free to wander in at their leisure.

In the Kitchen

We chatted with the sous chefs as we watched them preparing some of the aforementioned hors d’oeuvres. Two chefs stood behind a table ready to assemble two special cocktails, a Jack Rose and a Manhattan. Having had the Jack Rose during my birthday lunch a few weeks before, I chose the Manhattan, a new one for me. Delicious!

Cocktails in the Kitchen: Manhattan

And there was more to explore. We headed upstairs to the private dining rooms which, we discovered, was featuring a more casual side of EMP. The music was (recorded) rock ‘n’ roll; the eats, served cafeteria-style, were fried chicken in a bucket and fries, which we plucked out of a guitar case; and six different types of beer were on tap. A fun concept for sure!


Those of you who come to my blog with some regularity know that I was honored to be the first to officially receive the cookbook in October as a birthday gift from our EMP family (an event I described in this post). So, M and I were thrilled to join them in celebrating its official publication date. It is a gorgeous book with stunning photos by Francesco Tonelli. The recipes are divided by seasons with introductory remarks from Chef Humm. And threaded throughout, in text engagingly written by Will Guidara, is the story of the restaurant’s evolution from the time Daniel Humm arrived.

I should note that one major accolade EMP has received is not mentioned because it came sometime after the book went to press: the award of three stars from the Michelin Guide. It was, to be honest, totally unexpected by the staff but, in my (admittedly biased) opinion, thoroughly deserved.

It turned out that there was another monumental event to celebrate that evening. As of 10 a.m. the previous day, Thursday, November 10, 2011, Will Guidara and Daniel Humm officially became the owners of Eleven Madison Park.

Congratulations, Will and Daniel! We look forward to many more years of wonderful times in your restaurant.

To see all the photos from this party, click here.

Eleven Madison Park 11/11/11


7 Responses to “11/11/11”

  1. Stella/UWSister Says:

    Hi Roz – Just wanted to leave a note that it was a pleasure to meet you and Michael at David’s truffle dinner the other day! Hope we will meet again at another one of David’s dinners (game-themed one, maybe?) or another Chow-down, whenever that may happen…

  2. thewizardofroz Says:

    Hi Stella,

    Likewise! We very much enjoyed meeting you and John. It was a really convivial group, and we had a great time. Of course, Dave’s food was superb. If you haven’t already seen them, here’s the link to my photos.

    There’s a very good chance we will be going to one of the game dinners. It would be great if we were there on the same evening with you.

    I have your email address, so I’ll be in touch.

    • Stella Says:

      Yes, we would love to see you and Michael again at one of the game dinners! I will let you know when I find out when 🙂

      Your photos brought me right back to that poached duck egg with creamy polenta and white truffle shavings – amazing stuff!

  3. uhockey Says:

    …I’d have eaten my weight in the smoked sturgeon sabayon, gougeres, and foie gras. 🙂

    Do they sell the “I love NY” shirts with the EMP symbols that can be seen on the young folks upstairs?

  4. thewizardofroz Says:

    Hi, Mike!

    The first time I tasted the smoked sturgeon sabayon, I was totally bowled over. And it happens every time I have it. It’s one of my all-time favorites and, happily, is regularly on the amuse parade.

    I don’t know if those shirts are available for sale, but I will ask when we’re there on Tuesday. 🙂

  5. uhockey Says:

    Awesome, thanks. If so I’ll gladly buy one when we visit in February.

    I fly out for their sister restaurant tomorrow. Looks like the duck prep is very similar *excited*

  6. thewizardofroz Says:

    I’m sure Jason’s duck will be delicious. After all, he did have plenty of practice preparing the splendid duck at EMP.

    Have a great trip! 🙂

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