Baked Eggs in Spicy Tomato Sauce with Goat Cheese and Toast
Oh my goodness Save the Dates on hot sauce bottles. Why did I never think of this before?
Fri night Sean and I had dinner at Eleven Madison Park. We had a gift card there given to us for our wedding and were so excited to finally use it! Our excitement going into the dinner though did not nearly match the amazing experience that we were met with! Since this goes down as one of our top 3 meals (along with Cyrus in Healdsburg, CA and The Kitchen at Brooklyn Fare in BK, NY), I wanted to try to capture it here!
We had a 930 dinner reservation..arrived and were greeted and then seated in the beautiful space. We asked for a glass of champagne to toast the meal and were given our selection out of the champagne cart that they serve from tableside - a beautiful start! We were then given our menus to pick from. We chose 4 courses as opposed to the full tasting menu (thankfully so given how much else we were served!). The really interesting thing about the menu is that you choose from an ingredient but the preparation of the dish is a total surprise! More about our choices in a bit. We also decided to go with wine pairings, might as well get the full experience (the gift card helped too :). Here we go!
So, the first ‘hors d’oeurves’ arrives:
This was a truffle chive brioche, accompanied by an amazingly earthy mushroom tea. It was paired with a crisp cold daiginjo sake.
Next up on the pre-dinner snacks - scallop and hamachi, with a beautiful Grüner Veltliner :
The tastes continue…out comes fried panisse (chickpeas), along with an amazingly unique, cold curry yogurt lollipop w/ spiced lentils. This looked so cool, but more importantly, tasted amazing!
Now..we are thinking it is time for the courses we’ve ordered to begin, but no! What may be our favorite item arrives next.
First we are poured a beer from Southhampton Brewery to accompany what will we be coming. At this point the drinks are backing up a bit:
We are told the beer is to accompany our very own clam bake! What comes out next is this:
Eleven Mad’s version of a clam bake definitely goes down as the best one we’ve ever been to. 2 versions of cooked clams, potatoes, caviar hush puppies, and - served in a Japanese-style teapot surrounded by hot stones, piping, fresh, smooth hot chowder. Um, wow.
Now is it time for the 1st course? Nope not yet - bread basket arrives!
Normally it might make sense to pass on the bread given the amount of food - but this was fresh, house-made, with a croissant-like texture that melted in your mouth. Served with 2 kinds of butter, and one of them was GOAT butter with sea salt (think goat cheese + butter had a baby). David Chang serves this at Ma Peche and it is unreal. I wish it was served in more places!
At this point, we have already decided that this is going down as one of the best meals of our lives - and again we haven’t even gotten the first course we ordered yet. All of a sudden, the hostess appears at our table, and suggests that now would be a good time to stretch our legs - and would we like to come take a tour of the kitchen?? After about 6 drinks, I am barely processing this…but it is true! We are led back into the most beautiful kitchen I have ever seen or could imagine. We are talking art on the walls, absolutely spotless surfaces. The energy is amazing too, fast-paced, but totally in control - not chaotic at all.
(take note of the HUGE white truffle in the glass jar toward the front left)
We are then led over to a table which has two empty glasses and 2 spoons and told that they will be preparing an edible cocktail for us. [OMG WHAT IS GOING ON RIGHT NOW #foodieheaven]
Out comes the liquid nitrogen! The drink is called the Jackrose - it includes apple, brandy, and a rose foam that hardens into almost a wafer-like consistency.
After enjoying our drinks at our private chef/bar table, we head back out to START our dinner - but not before grabbing a picture in the beautiful serving area of the kitchen - where the computers are and everything is organized before heading out of the kitchen.
Trying to process all of this, our heads warm from the brandy…our first courses arrive, plus wine pairings!
I had chosen “Fluke” - which would served (as I had hoped it might be!) carpaccio-style, with a deliciously light but seasonal apple/celery preparation:
Sean had picked “Crab”. This came in a sushi-like preparation, wrapped in avocado, with an amazing sauce to accompany.
We shared through the meal, so we could taste everything.
Next, up was “White Truffle” and “Lobster” - which may be two of the best words in the foodie bible. The White Truffle in particular made us nostalgic for our honeymoon in Italy, where we had gone truffle hunting in Piedmont. The wine pairing was a Barbaresco from that region, yum!
Before: a delicious homemade pasta with a creamy sauce, topped with chestnuts:
Out comes the truffle we had seen in the kitchen to be shaved table-side!
After: a delicious homemade pasta with a creamy sauce, topped with chestnuts, COVERED in fresh white truffles!
Sean’s melt-in-your mouth butter-poached lobster was also the lucky recipient of a few white truffles as well!
For the 3rd course, we had actually gone off the menu…we had heard there was a duck that was the must-have, not to be missed dish. It is a muscovy duck for 2, carved table-side, that is both sweet (but not overly so like most ducks are), but with the most perfectly crispy skin. It is the perfect seasonal dish, served with roasted figs (my fave fall food!) I NEVER order duck and loved loved loved this - the hype is totally justified!
Normally at this point in a meal, I have pretty much no desire for dessert because I’m so full. However, in this case, I was dying to see what tricks they would pull out!
And we weren’t disappointed! Our pre-dessert course (best name ever), were homemade orange chocolate egg creams! These were prepared tableside obv.
This was my first egg cream and I loved it and totally get what this NY classic is a cult fave! I can’t wait to look out for this at other places in the city (thought they probably won’t be as good as this one)
Now, the desserts arrive. I had “Blue Cheese” (cheese is my fave dessert!) and Sean had “Hazelnut”. Both were served with amazing, fresh seasonal fruit preparations.
Now we are absolutely stuffed (and tipsy, to put it mildly) - but of course, the meal is not over yet!
Fresh pastries, chocolates, and macaroons arrive:
Followed by a bottle of cognac which two glasses are poured and then the bottle is left behind for us to refill ourselves or have as much as we want ( can barely see straight at this point)
At 1:30am, we departed with printed out personalized menus of everything we ate plus our wine pairings, along with a mason jar of homemade granola for breakfast the next morning. (pic missing).
This definitely goes down in the books, as not just an amazing meal, but a really special memory. Thanks to our friend Brian for the amazing wedding gift, and to Billy - Eleven Madison’s amazing manager, who ensured that our night be absolute perfection!
Here’s the dollar bill-sized tip chart that you can buy here or print out and cut yourself.
Last night at like 9pm I had an impulse baking urge..which has NEVER happened to me before (I don’t think I’ve ever baked before). Think maybe it was an attempt to catch up for the fact that the only festive thing I’d done for halloween over the weekend is eat candy?! I also wanted to ‘practice’ for the fall bake-off party we are having in my office, which my husband was quite supportive of obviously!
Anyway..made these Pumpkin Cheesecake Cupcakes, recipe here: http://www.rachaelraymag.com/Recipes/rachael-ray-magazine-recipe-search/dessert-recipes/cheesecake-filled-pumpkin-cupcakes
They turned out great… I learned 3 things in the process:
1. Baking is a freaking mess and too much cinnamon sugar spilled on floor makes a puppy HYPER
2. Worthwhile to read the reviews before cooking a recipe (when 14 pgs of commenters have said the icing is too buttery, they might be right!)
3. 45 mins in my case meant 1hr 45 mins…precision to bake takes tooooo long
4. While delicious, I will likely not have the motivation to recreate these in 2 wks for the office party (which was the point!!)
Last week, we asked you to send us your social media and tech-inspired Jack-o-Lanterns. We received a bunch of great designs, ranging from tech company logos to carvings paying homage to the web’s favorite viral videos. While we loved them all, here are the carvings we found most inspired. We …