Eleven Madison Park Scraps Elaborate Tasting Menu for More Minimal Approach

Eleven Madison Park has done away with its 14-course tasting menu in favor of a more understated seven-course meal
Eleven Madison Park Scraps Elaborate Tasting Menu for More Minimal Approach

Photo: Flickr/star5112/CC BY SA 2.0

After years of putting on a show, quite successfully, Eleven Madison Park is moving toward a quieter and simpler meal service.

Beginning Tuesday, January 19, Eleven Madison Park in New York City — one of six restaurants in the city to hold the Michelin guide’s highest ranking of three stars — will move away from its elaborate, four-hour tasting menu and adopt a more simplified service, with seven courses instead of the usual 14.

In fact, the shift to minimalism will apply to the restaurant’s entire ethos, with a “spare and sometimes monochromatic” plating style, and less attention from the servers in order to facilitate more enjoyable conversations among the guests.

Moving forward, servers will only interact with guests in a way that feels “natural and pragmatic,” according to the New York Times. In place of the carefully scripted tasting menu, diners will be able to weigh in and provide the staff with some notes about personal preferences, for at least some parts of the meal. And, now that guests will get half the number of courses, the courses will get bigger, so that “you’re eating a dish for a while rather than just having two bites,” chef Daniel Humm explained.

“I think we’re at a point where eating 25 courses is not necessary,” Humm told the Times. “We feel strongly about it. That’s not what we want anymore, as diners. It’s too much.” 

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