If you haven't already heard (and let's be real, we have all already heard), New York staple Eleven Madison Park reopened its doors last week after four long months of renovations and a brief stint as a pop-up in the Hamptons.
Turns out, a lot can change in four months. Velvet banquettes can appear out of nowhere. Gold leaf can materialize on bar ceilings. Foie gras can find its way into perfectly balanced whiskey cocktails.
And so, let us break down the shiny new incarnation of EMP. Let us do it now...
Back then: Your tasting menu changed seasonally.
But now: Same same, but you'll find it's all a bit more pared down and focused this time around. And the same approach goes for the drinks: less-is-more seems consistent all-around.
Back then: Said menu involved a beloved honey-lavender roasted duck, an interesting celery root dish and savory black-and-white cookies.
But now: You'll still find the roasted duck and cookies to start off the meal. The celery root dish made the cut, but is presented in a less painstakingly perfect fashion. But there are plenty of new additions to the menu: foie gras, served either hot or cold; smoked sturgeon cheesecake with caviar; a bacon and seaweed-wrapped whole-roasted kabocha squash.
Back then: There was no private room dedicated to a well-known American artist known for his wall drawings.
But now: You've got the Sol Lewitt Room. Apparently, he created Madison Square Park's first public art installations in 2005, and you can spot the lawn where that took place from this new dining area. There's a Lewitt drawing in there, for good measure.
Back then: The cocktails were inspired by flavors you'd find on the menu.
But now: Same idea. Under sections like celery root, squash and chocolate, you'll find a chocolate cocktail with blanco tequila, vermouth, amaro and lemon; a milk punch with sweet vermouth, amaro, rye whiskey and spices; and more.
Back then: You didn't have the same dining area, bar area, furniture, art, flowers, vibe...
And so: Let's have a look at it all.