photo by Francesco Tonelli
After Will Guidara and chef Daniel Humm purchased Eleven Madison Park, the restaurant they’d all but perfected with über restaurateur Danny Meyer, they struck gold again with their sophomore act, an ornate palace of ingestible pleasures. The buzz surrounding The NoMad’s hedonistic chicken for two has yet to die down, and the truffle-and-foie gras-stuffed fowl deserves every last cluck of praise. But beyond the prized poultry and the absurdly good bread service (rolls were recently served with coins of zucchini baked into the dough), the restaurant’s various rooms deliver unique experiences that cater to all manner of occasions and moods. The airy main hall feels communal and cheery, while a fireplace nook is perfect for romance, down to the velvet upholstery on the chairs and banquettes. As at EMP, bartender Leo Robitschek’s cocktails are incomparable, and here they’re given a stage all their own by way of a dramatic bar and library where guests can while away an evening snacking on crudités and discovering the power of sherry. The hotel added a weekly reservations-only jazz show featuring cocktails and small plates in a room on the second floor. It’s an intricate operation with many different moving parts, and Humm and Guidara make it look effortless.