Eleven Madison Park

11 Madison Ave,

New York, NY 10010

(212) 889-0905

This was the first of two fabulous dinners I enjoyed at Eleven Madison Park on consecutive evenings in October, 2009. Executive Chef Daniel Humm and his team were firing on all cylinders, as every plate that came out of the kitchen was divine. I particularly like the smoked pork belly and organic milk-fed chicken, but then again, both dishes were topped with truffles, so it was hard to go too wrong. One of the qualities is I like most about Humm’s food is the way he builds clean, well-articulated flavors in a style that marries exceptionally well with wine.

I adore the Champagnes of Jérôme Prévost, and these two wines were gorgeous, especially with food. The Les Beguines (Cuvée 2002) was big, rich and powerful although it turned more delicate and subtle in the glass. The D'Ailleurs (Cuvée 2003) is an experimental wine that, like the Beguines, is 100% Pinot Meunier, but in this case spent an additional year in barrel. It revealed an exotic profile of tea leaves, hazelnuts, spices and orange peel, with warm, oxidative notes that added gorgeous complexity. Both Champagnes were fascinating to follow over several hours.

Bruno Giacosa’s 1979 Barolo Le Rocche di Castiglione Falletto, from my cellar, was fully mature. Classic Rocche notes of spices, plums and prunes emerged from this delicate, sensual Barolo. The wine was a touch forward for my taste, and it was more enjoyable with food than when tasted on its own. Giacomo Conterno’s 1971 Monfortino was in another class altogether. Monumental as always, the wine flowed onto the palate with an endless array of dark, mentholated, balsamic fruit. We were fortunate to enjoy a truly spectacular bottle of this magical elixir.

I was very impressed with a bottle of Giuseppe Quintarelli's single-vineyard Valpolicella Ca’ del Merlo from the 1998 vintage, which was served blind. What struck me most was the wine's freshness. Wild cherries, sweet herbs and aromatic spices all came together beautifully in this mid-weight, classically built Valpolicella. Although the 1998 Ca’ del Merlo doesn’t appear to be a wine that will improve with further cellaring, it was splendid on this night. Perhaps the greatest compliment I can pay the wine is that it was not at all out of place following the 1979 Barolo Rocche and 1971 Monfortino, no small feat to be sure. 


Celery Root Velouté

Alaskan King Crab; Variations with Green Apple, Cilantro and Madras Curry

Apple-Wood Smoked Pork Belly, Burgundy Truffles

Organic Milk Fed Chicken; Roasted with Lemon, Rosemary and Black Truffles

Selection of Artisan Cheeses



La Closerie (Jérôme Prévost) Les Beguines (Cuvée 2002)



La Closerie (Jérôme Prévost) D'Ailleurs (Cuvée 2003)



Bruno Giacosa Barolo Le Rocche di Castiglione Falletto



Giacomo Conterno Barolo Riserva Speciale Monfortino



Giuseppe Quintarelli   Valpolicella Ca’ del Merlo


--Antonio Galloni