Eleven Madison Park Institutes Tasting-Menu Tyranny

Photo: Courtesy of Eleven Madison Park

According to the Times, Eleven Madison Park’s chef Daniel Humm and general manager William Guidara have talked Danny Meyer into dropping the bar and à la carte menus at the restaurant, instituting four-course ($125) or five-course ($155) tasting menus, and dropping 34 seats so that line cooks can help deliver dishes (and share in tips). This will surely narrow EMP’s populist appeal and push it still further into the realm of a proper fine-dining restaurant, but Guidara insists the tasting menu (presented on little cards that simply list ingredients rather than suppliers, adjectives, or preparation notes) will be easy to cater to your liking: “Tasting menus are like monologues. This is a dialogue.” Another interesting change: “There is no longer a podium with a reservation book. Instead, the host asks your name after you come through the revolving doors, then leads you to your table.” Guidara says it’s friendlier this way, but we’re assuming they then check to see whether you actually have a reservation. Otherwise, dinner at EMP just got a lot easier to crash.

At Eleven Madison Park, Fixing What Isn’t Broke [NYT]