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‘You almost feel sorry’: Food critic’s review of Michelin three-starred restaurant goes viral; details here

Eleven Madison Park was dubbed the world's best restaurant on the planet in 2017, as per The World's 50 Best Restaurant list

By: Lifestyle Desk | New Delhi |
September 30, 2021 4:00:42 pm
eleven madison park, beetrootBeet with lettuces and herbs served at Eleven Madison Park. (Source: elevenmadisonpark/Instagram)

Eleven Madison Park, one of New York’s most celebrated restaurants with three Michelin stars, has invited flak from a food critic for its new vegan menu.

Pete Wells, a New York Times critic, recently published an article where he wrote about eating a beetroot dish served in a claypot broken open at the table, adding that it tasted “like Lemon Pledge” and smelled “like a burning joint”.

Eleven Madison Park was dubbed the world’s best restaurant on the planet in 2017, as per The World’s 50 Best Restaurant list. After being shut during the pandemic, it reopened in June with an entirely vegan menu, serving milk for only cappuccinos.

Pete, however, felt some of the dishes had a “pumped-up, distorted flavour” while others had a “cloying heaviness”.

The 10-course meal at the restaurant is priced at $335. The critic wrote, “Almost none of the main ingredients taste quite like themselves in the 10-course, $335 menu the restaurant unwrapped this June after a 15-month pandemic hiatus. Some are so obviously standing in for meat or fish that you almost feel sorry for them.

Rice porridge under crisp, pale-green stems of celtuce has a tangy, sharp undertone that another restaurant might get from a grating of aged pecorino. A tartare of minced cucumbers, honeydew melon and smoked daikon is suffused with an acrid intensity.”

He further wrote, “The ingredients look normal until you take a bite and realise you’ve entered the plant kingdom’s uncanny valley.”

Not all dishes were bad, Pete added. “Tonburi, made from Japanese summer-cypress seeds, arrives on chipped ice inside an antique silver caviar bowl that looks as if it belonged to the Romanovs. The seeds, dark and round and shiny, are sometimes said to taste like broccoli. At Eleven Madison Park, they have been seasoned with kelp…I’d say it tastes delicious, and I might add that its flavor brings up deep, partly subconscious associations with the sea.”

Eleven Madison Park won the first Michelin star in 2010.

According to Daily Mail, there are only 134 three-starred restaurants in the world — France and Japan have 29 each while there are 14 in the US.

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