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Eleven Up


It’s difficult to know whether the hearty expense-account folk who frequent Eleven Madison Park will buy into this new style of food. Despite the cosmetic changes, the big, triumphal room feels a little grandiose and impersonal for such excessively delicate cooking. In an attempt, perhaps, to connect to his new public, Humm tries his hand at bar food, much of which (nice mushroom pizza, weird tea-sandwich-size lobster clubs) isn’t very good. Luckily, there’s not much wrong with Nicole Kaplan’s desserts. For summer, the restaurant’s longtime pastry chef has produced a selection of esoteric ice creams like cornbread (part of a gourmet blueberry cobbler) and salted caramel (served with an extravagant chocolate-and-caramel tart). Sheep’s-milk yogurt is used to produce a soothing approximation of cheesecake, and if you want plain vanilla or strawberry ice cream, you’ll find them squeezed between two halves of a macaroon glace and flecked, in the spirit of Mr. Meyer’s dainty new haute cuisine establishment, with gold leaf.

Eleven Madison Park

Address: 11 Madison Ave., nr. 24th St.; 212-889-0905
Hours: Dinner, Sunday through Thursday, 5:30 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday to 10:30. Lunch, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily.
Prices:Appetizers, $12 to $20; entrées, $18 to $32. Prix fixe, $68 to $115.
Ideal Meal: Foie gras with bing cherries, gnocchi, suckling pig, chocolate-caramel tart.
Note: The restaurant now serves a gourmet weekend brunch, including pancakes flavored with pecan pralines, and lemon-poppy-seed waffles.
Scratchpad: The delicate balance between menu and décor may be a little out of whack, but the suckling pig alone is worth a special trip. Three stars.



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