Another Restaurant Week Lunch at Eleven Madison

Restaurant Week! Yay!!!!

I love this time of year when I have an excuse to take a half day of work or call in sick just to enjoy a wonderful lunch that I otherwise could not afford.

This year it actually fell on Martin Luther King day so I had the whole day off to enjoy!!

As usual I had forgotten to get reservations the day they went on opentable so I just had to cross my fingers and hope there would be a spot at the bar for lunch at Eleven Madison.

I showed up about 5 minutes to 1:00 and luckily snagged the last table.

I was meeting my friend Maria for lunch who had never been here before so I took a seat facing the bar so she could enjoy beautiful windows overlooking Madison Square Park and the gorgeous dining room.

The snow had just started to fall and the view was particularly stunning that day.

Once she arrived we had a quick discussion regarding the wine list and placed our order.

As usual they started us with a choice of bread, olive baguette or French roll.

I love their olive baguette so I happily chose one of those and got to work with the salt and butter.

Eleven Madison has great creamy rich butter and tasty sea salt for their bread.

Up until 3 days ago I would give it first prize in the state but that goes to Blue Hill Stone Barns now (I'll post about that next).

However the butter and salt are excellent and a great start to the meal.

For my appetizer I decided to go with the Octopus salad with Avocado, Fennel and Satsuma Tangerine.

When this salad came out it looked like a huge mound of mostly fennel and frisee.

However upon closer inspection this salad was PACKED!

There were huge pieces of octopus that seemed to be lightly grilled with just a little lemon juice and olive oil.

The salad was accompanied by big chunks of avocado, avocado cream and various pieces of tangerine (although one tasted like blood orange so maybe that was in there as well?).

The parts alone were very good, but the parts together were fantastic!

The citrus from the tangerine completely changed the flavor of the octopus with creamy avocado.

It was such a different dish depending on what was eaten together.

I found the fennel a tad overpowering but otherwise this was a great appetizer.

The portion was absolutely enormous and I barely got though half of the dish before I had to stop myself and save room for my main course.

Maria got the Poached egg with Wild Mushroom and Parmesan.

The egg looked like it was perfectly poached with some runny middle mixing into the Parmesan foam.

The main course options were honestly a little bit disappointing for me.

The choices were Salmon, Boudin Blanc, Risotto, Chicken and a Pork Tagliatelle.

I am not a big fan of rice or pasta, Boudin Blanc is a little bit much for me and I'm allergic to Salmon.

Therefore by default I had the Chicken.

Luckily everything at Eleven Madison, including the chicken, is beyond the norm.

This is Roasted Organic Chicken with Celery and Black Trumpet mushrooms.

It came with two portions of chicken, one white meat and one dark.

Okay...WHY can’t I make chicken like this!!!

It was so juicy and so moist it was unbelievable.

The skin was buttery and crisp while the potato puree beneath seemed to soak up all of the mushroom foam making a brown smooth beautiful sauce for the poultry.

Maria ordered the Roasted Atlantic Salmon with Sweet Potatoes and Iranian Dried Figs.

I didn't try this dish because of my Salmon allergy but she said it was fantastic.

The sweet potato puree with the fish look fabulous and I have to say we were both pretty consumed with our entrees.

We were in quite the discussion but at one point we both stopped to say "Man, this is so good".

For dessert I knew I needed something with chocolate so I went for the Chocolate Mousse with Olive Oil Ice Cream.

The chocolate Mousse was fantastic.

It wasn't overly sweet but quite smooth with a truffle like flavor and black chocolate bottom.

The ice cream really perplexed me and I'm not quite sure it worked with the dish.

It tasted a little more sour- like a Crème Fraiche, which I don't care for but the mousse was excellent.

Maria got the cheesecake which looked beautiful and was a lot lighter than regular cheesecake.

The desserts were good but the savory was definitely the highlight of the meal.

So the weirdest part about Eleven Madison was the service.

I've been there now 5 times and have had nothing short of spectacular service and this time was no different- they just seemed to be confused a lot.

Almost every time my dish was given to Maria and vice versa, there was quite a bit of time between our courses being given and cleared away, and when we were waiting for or check the server came over and put down silverware telling us or desserts would be right out!

We had just eaten our desserts!!

I wish I wasn’t so full- I would have gone for seconds!

So that was a little strange but by no means a damper to the meal.

At the end we were both full of food and happy.

And then such a nice surprise!!

A gift certificate for $28! The price of a regular lunch!

So our lunch was basically free!!!

How awesome is that!

Oh restaurant week- you made me a believer again and it's only the start. I may have to hit up another one in the next two weeks. Offers like this are hard to come by.