New Year’s Eve 2017 at Eleven Madison Park

Two years ago, when Michael was going to turn 75 in January 2016, he decided he wanted to celebrate entering that milestone year by going to Eleven Madison Park on New Year’s Eve 2015. And so we did! Last year, we went back to celebrating New Year’s Eve as we normally do, the two of us at home in NJ sharing a beef fondue and listening to the WQXR Countdown. When I turned 75 this past October, I suggested to Michael that we do New Year’s Eve again at EMP. And so we did.

Balloons hanging from the ceiling gave the room a festive feel.

Eleven Madison Park New Year's Eve 2017

Tables held party hats for the gents and crowns for the ladies (closer to midnight, I did spot a few men sporting the crowns), noisemakers, and necklaces made of paper and beads.

Eleven Madison Park New Year's Eve 2017

What has become the signature first bites were already on the table.

Black and White Cookies

Black and White Cookies with Cheddar Apple

I was poured one of my favorite beverages.

French Sparkling Cider (Non-Alcoholic)

For Michael, Champagne to go with the first two courses.

Champagne

1st Course: Oyster with Concord Grape and Mignonette Snow

Oyster

I’m not fond of oysters so, instead, I was served Pear Poached with Fennel and Fennel Broth.

Pear

2nd Course: Caviar Benedict with Smoked Sturgeon

Caviar

Caviar

Since I don’t eat caviar, I received Black Truffle Benedict with Cauliflower Ecrase. Black Truffles instead of caviar? Hardly a poor substitute.

Black Truffle

English Muffins accompanied the Benedicts.

English Muffins

At this point, House Made Rolls, Cultured Butter, and Amagansett Sea Salt were brought to the table.

House Made Roll

Butter and Sea Salt

3d Course: Foie Gras Marinated with Black Truffle and Endive

Foie Gras

The pairing for the Foie Gras was a Château d’Yquem. I do like sweet wines, so I “helped” Michael with it.

Château d’Yquem

4th Course: Lobster Butter-Poached with Shellfish and Kale

Lobster

The pairing for the Lobster was a Corton Grand Cru.

Corton Grand Cru

5th Course: Cauliflower with Parmesan, Egg, and White Truffles

Cauliflower

Paired with the Cauliflower was a Monthelie 1er Cru.

Monthelie 1er Cru

The arrival of our Engraved Knives (a gift to us on our 45th anniversary in 2013) signaled that the main protein was about to be served.

Our Engraved Knives

6th Course: Beef Dry-Aged with Oxtail, Black Truffle, and Chestnut

Beef

Paired with the Beef was a Cabernet.

Cabernet

7th Course: Milk and Honey Custard with Bee Pollen Ice Cream

Milk and Honey//embedr.flickr.com/assets/client-code.js

The pairing for the dessert was a Riesling.

Riesling

There were Chocolate Covered Pretzels, Matcha Tea and Laird’s Apple Brandy for Michael, and another small pour of Sparkling Cider for me.

Chocolate Covered Pretzels

Matcha Tea

Laird's Old Apple Brandy

A delicious meal though I must admit I wasn’t crazy about the lobster dish. But that’s just me because Michael thought it was great. Mega-kudos to the kitchen staff for doing a fantastic job timing all the courses so that we were finished a few minutes before midnight. Servers then circulated with carts bearing glasses of Champagne for the midnight toast.

Champagne

Champagne

Michael was ready!

Eleven Madison Park New Year's Eve 2017

G.M. Billy Peele said a few words. He thanked the guests for being there and mentioned what an amazing year it had been for EMP what with the renovation closure, Summer House, and the reopening. We then counted down the last 5 seconds of 2017.

At midnight, a saxophonist appeared and walked through the dining room playing “Auld Lang Syne.” Also, as has been the custom, the entire kitchen staff came into the dining room.

Because the renovation didn’t have the space for it, there was no band and dancing as there was in 2015. A minor downside. What was more of a problem was that the heating system couldn’t quite handle the outside single digit temps, so it was chilly inside the enormous space. While the men were unaffected since they were dressed more warmly, all in suits or jackets from what I could see, the outfits most women were wearing, including mine, were of the partying style; ergo, not warm. Some women ended up wearing their coats or draping them over their shoulders.

Eleven Madison Park New Year’s Eve 2017

I wrapped my scarf around me and changed back from heels to boots.

Nevertheless, we had a great time and were especially delighted that our captain for the evening was Elizabeth who has taken care of us many times. She is gorgeous and has the most sparkling personality. She took this photo of us.

Eleven Madison Park New Year’s Eve 2017

We loved spending the last evening of 2017 with our EMP family and look forward to being with them often in 2018.

Eleven Madison Park New Year's Eve 2017

Note: When we left our apartment to go to EMP, the WQXR Classical Countdown was in the middle of playing Number 4, Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9, “From the New World.” When it was close to midnight, Michael checked on his iPhone to see what pieces made the top 3 spots. Holst’s The Planets was No. 3 (Ugh!!), Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7 was No. 2, and — no surprise! — his Symphony No. 9 once again took the top spot.

The entire photo set can be viewed on my Flickr here.

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