Daniel Humm and Will Guidara are taking the idea of not resting on your laurels to the next level this fall at their highly regarded restaurant Eleven Madison Park. The pair plans to ditch EMP’s entire current menu shortly after Labor Day and, in an even riskier move, deploy a series of “interactive” elements shortly after Labor Day. A cheese course served from a picnic basket, a clambake that emits a sea mist across the table and a spin on Three Card Monte during dessert will aim to dazzle gourmands during what will be a four-hour, 12-dish, $195 tasting menu paying homage to the city’s culinary past.
It’s a big gamble for the stately, if unpretentious, venue, which currently holds three Michelin stars and four New York Times stars. Will diners succumb to the theatrics or dismiss them as shallow Vegas-style bombast? At least the food projected to be on offer should ease some fears: carrot tartare, sturgeon “in a dome of smoke” and cheesecake in a snifter are all expected to make the menu. Why fix what ain’t broke? Executive chef Guidara responds with another question: “How many times in your life do you have an opportunity to leave your own legacy?”