Is the New Eleven Madison Park Too Verbose for Its Own Good?

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Less talk, more romaine. Photo: Patrick McMullan

Pete Wells tried the New York menu at the "reinvented" Eleven Madison Park and does not enjoy the explanatory paper tag affixed to the restaurant's meal-opening riff on black-and-white cookies, nor does he dig the patter that fizzes out when the egg cream is poured. He's even flummoxed by the applewood-smoke-filled bell jar containing romaine and a sturgeon square meant to evoke UWS institution Barney Greengrass. "Eleven Madison Park is manipulating sense memories," the Times critic writes, "but it seems not always sure how to harness them." Humm is still a "wizard with vegetables"; while most new menu items have bite, the stilted narrative that accompanies each course does not. "I felt as if Id gone to a Seder hosted by Presbyterians," he writes. It continues up until "you are handed a pocket-size book of historical background on the food youve just eaten" on your way out of the restaurant. [NYT, Earlier]