In 2005, I had the pleasure of dining at Campton Place, a hotel restaurant, where a young Swedish chef by the name of Daniel Humm was creating a buzz in the culinary world. Campton Place indulged me with a wine-paired 13 course dinner, pinnacling my dining experience at the time.
Humm moved from San Francisco to New York in 2006 and took over as chef of Eleven Madison Park in Manhattan, transforming a well-known New York restaurant into an internationally recognized dining destination. Prior to Humm’s arrival, Eleven Madison Park had only received 2 stars in The New York Times dining section. In 2009, Eleven Madison Park received a glowing 4 star review in The New York Times, an accomplishment shared currently with only five other restaurants in New York.
The decision to dine at Eleven Madison Park for my four-year wedding anniversary was a culmination of my prior experience at Campton Place and the desire to see how Humm had progressed in his career. Dining at Eleven Madison Park was a dining experience unlike anything I have ever had. Humm brings the excitement of culinary adventure and experimentation with exotic flavors to a whole different level. From the moment my wife and I walked in the door, we were treated as though we were personal guests of Humm, invited to share in an experience of a lifetime. We were personally greeted with a congratulatory anniversary welcome and escorted to a quiet table with an elevated view of the restaurant. The grand finale included a tour of the kitchen, guided by the maître d’, Zach Fischer, where we enjoyed a custom cocktail creation by the lovely pastry chef Angela Pinkerton.
After 16 courses, 1 glass of sake, 1 bottle of Domaine Michel Gros Hautes Cotes de Nuits, 1 bottle of Pale Wheat Ale by Ithaca Brewing Co. and a glass of apple brandy I was pleasantly full and feeling just right!
Due to the lighting I was unable to take pictures of every course and honestly I was so engrossed in our meal and at the surprise and delight with which my wife greeted every course that I completely forgot I wanted to document the entire experience for my website. I think I managed to capture the essence of what I find difficult to describe in words. Humm’s Eleven Madison Park is a culinary adventure I will never forget.