Any story about one of New York’s most sought-after restaurants must start with a tip on how to book a table. So here’s the spiel: reservations open on the first of every month, for the following month. Spots get snapped up almost instantly, but the restaurant always sets aside a few tables in its bar area for walk-ins. The best time to do that is 5.30pm – right when it opens and right before all the bankers and corporates in Midtown Manhattan descend on Eleven Madison Park, ranked number one on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list in 2017.

Eleven Madison Park

Now that we’ve got booking out of the way, here’s what you need to know about the menu. There are two main options: the eight- to 10-course Dining Room Tasting Menu, served in the restaurant’s main dining room, for US$335 per person (that’s even before you’ve had a single sip of alcohol); and the five-course Bar Tasting Menu, served in the bar area (above), for US$175 per person, excluding drinks.

Having tasted the latter, we can safely say it’s sumptuous and filling enough, and definitely gives you a very good sense of the three-Michelin-starred establishment. The bar area effortlessly opens onto the high-ceilinged dining room and the same well-turned-out staff serve in both the sections, so there’s no FOMO on the exceptional service.

Eleven Madison Park

There’s a third menu option, too – offered to the aforementioned walk-ins – but it’s pretty limited, so if you really want to experience the culinary genius of Daniel Humm, get in early and book either the Dining Room or Bar tasting menu.

The food changes every day and whether you end up with poached zucchini, carrot tartare or confit of suckling pig, you can be sure of two things: it’s going to be downright delicious and supremely inventive. Complement your meal with sommelier-matched wines, or simply order a bottle of champagne from the encyclopaedic wine list.

Eleven Madison Park

Atmosphere: Fine-dining on steroids, even in the bar area
Best for: Super-special occasions
Cuisine: Progressive
Standout dish: The signature duck (above), dry-aged for 14 days and glazed with lavender and honey
Open: Seven days for dinner and Friday-Sunday for lunch
Address: 11 Madison Avenue, New York
Phone number: +1 212 889 0905

SEE ALSO: New York’s Most Incredible Rooftop Bars

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