Review: 11 Madison Park’s new plant-based menu has transformed fine dining


Photo credit: Rose Sarner

11 Madison Park’s summer salad highlights all different types, colors and shapes of tomatoes. This was one of my favorite dishes at the restaurant because of how fresh each ingredient included is.

By Rose Sarner, Culture Editor

Zero animal products, solely vegetables; the New York staple 11 Madison Park has gone vegan. 11 Madison Park is a world-renowned restaurant that has won seven James Beard Foundation Awards (including Outstanding Chef and Outstanding Restaurant in America), three Michelin Stars and has held the number one spot on the World’s 50 Best Restaurants list. As you can probably tell, it’s the best of the best, and according to the New York Times, “one of the most closely watched restaurants in the world.” 

After closing their doors during the pandemic, Head Chef Daniel Humm re-opened 11 Madison Park June 10, 2021, with an entirely new approach to fine dining. The 10-course tasting menu is now filled with seasonal vegetables that range from summer squash to Tonburi, which is made from Japanese summer-cypress seeds. Humm incorporates the elite of the elite vegetables, and as a result, charges $335 a person to sit in his newly remodeled restaurant with high ceilings and large windows, right on the historical Madison Avenue.

I had the pleasure of snagging a reservation at 11 Madison Park not once, but twice, while I was on summer vacation in New York City. The first time I went was with my foodie friend and her family last July. She booked the reservation months in advance when the restaurant first announced its reopening earlier in 2021. She logged online at 6 a.m., and, within minutes, reservations were booked for the entire year. That same morning, I tried to get my mom and me a reservation for a week later, as we were both watching 11 Madison Park’s influence on a radical shift in the food industry.

Plant-based eating was gaining momentum as new vegan restaurants were opening, and individuals were suddenly more intrigued by the benefits of eating a primarily plant-based diet. Ultimately, I did not get the reservation, but I called, called and called again, and when there was a cancelation for Saturday at 6:30 p.m., I took it. 

In my opinion, no restaurant should charge $355 a person. That is ridiculous. Not only is it $355 a person, but that does not factor in drink orders, taxes or gratuity. For the amount you are paying to eat at 11 Madison Park, you should definitely have your drink included in the set price or even receive a free one.

Now for the food. Sometimes I really dislike tasting menus because of the small portion sizes, and if you enjoy one specific dish, you are not able to order more. However, 11 Madison Park, gives you free refills on their “bread and butter.” Their take on bread makes you think you never need a classic piece of bread ever again. This plant-based version of bread is like a croissant rolled into a bun-shaped circle. It is flakey yet savory with the perfect amount of salt and is also crisp around the edges. The bread comes with sunflower seed butter and is shaped like a sunflower with bright yellow petals and a dark circle in the middle.

The “bread and butter” at 11 Madison Park is flakey and crispy in all of the right places. This dish is unlike any bread and butter I have ever tasted before. I even forgot it was vegan — it’s that good. (Photo credit: Rose Sarner)

Another dish that is placed in the middle of the 10 courses is a beet that comes in a clay pot. The clay pot is deconstructed, re-assembled and plated right in front of you. Over the course of three days, this beet is roasted and dehydrated before being wrapped in fermented greens and stuffed into a clay pot. This dish is supposed to mimic 11 Madison Park’s most famous dish, the duck. However, I do not eat meat, nor do I enjoy meat-like flavors so I found this unnecessary, and, frankly weird.

Many studies agree that Humm’s re-opening of the New York staple will transform the food industry and emphasize the importance of sustainable food.

Kathy D. McManus at Harvard Medical School said,“[plant based diets have] been shown … to reduce risk of heart disease, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, certain cancers (specifically colon, breast and prostate cancer), depression and in older adults, a decreased risk of frailty, along with better mental and physical function.” 

Not only does eating a plant-based diet improve one’s overall health, but it also helps the environment.

According to the Physicians Committee, “vegan and vegetarian diets were associated with the greatest reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions.” A global shift to a plant-based diet could, “reduce mortality and greenhouse gasses caused by food production by 10% and 70%, respectively, by 2050.”  

Ultimately, plant-based eating is not only important for one’s health, it is also beneficial for the environment. Individuals who come into the restaurant will be immersed in dishes filled with natural flavors and beautiful colors, all of which are sourced locally. The execution of each dish is remarkable. From the variety of unique textures to the way each ingredient is arranged on the plate in front of you, 11 Madison Park is redefining and taking “good food” to the next level.  

  • Food
  • Atmosphere
  • Service
  • Enjoyment
  • Efficiency
  • Price


The New York City institution, 11 Madison Park, has transformed its 10-course tasting menu into a plant-based menu. The dining experience charges $355 a person to taste creative courses while being in an incredible restaurant with impeccable service and an enjoyable atmosphere. Dining at 11 Madison Park is a special experience where you can immerse yourself in a new, sustainable way of eating.