Change is in the air for Will Guidara and Daniel Humm’s Manhattan wine-and-dining destination Eleven Madison Park. The restaurant, located in Midtown Manhattan’s Flatiron neighborhood in the art deco Metropolitan Life North Building, confirmed with Wine Spectator via e-mail that it plans to close temporarily starting June 9 to undergo renovations, reopening in mid- to late-September.
Chef Humm’s three-hour, prix-fixe tasting menu has become a fixture of New York fine dining, offering eight to 10 seasonally inspired courses. Eleven Madison Park, holder of three Michelin stars, also has a longstanding history of excellence in its wine program. A Restaurant Award winner since 2003, it earned its first Grand Award in 2011; today, the cellar is managed by wine director Cedric Nicaise and carries an inventory of 21,000 bottles. There is no word yet on whether there will be any changes to the wine program, which currently offers guests a choice of 3,800 selections, with strengths in Burgundy, Bordeaux, California, Italy and Champagne.
This spring, the menu will serve as a retrospective of chef Humm’s past 11 years at the restaurant. The team plans to open a pop-up, EMP Summer House, in East Hampton on Long Island at the end of June, during the summer renovations. Reservations will be available via www.elevenmadisonpark.com.—S.H.
Fans of Jean-Georges Vongerichten have yet another reason to dine out in Manhattan. The culinary emperor behind Grand Award winner Jean-Georges in New York and Best of Award of Excellence winner Prime Steakhouse in Las Vegas quietly opened his long-awaited, vegetable-based eatery, AbcV, on Monday, Feb. 27. Years in the making, the restaurant joins two other Vongerichten projects, ABC Kitchen and ABC Cocina, that share a space with the extravagant home-goods store ABC Carpet & Home, just off Union Square. The 75-seat AbcV, overseen by chef de cuisine Neal Harden, serves vegan and vegetarian fare—but without any imitation meats like veggie burgers or tofu-bacon BLTs in sight. The menu offers GMO-free, sustainable and organic dishes such as a maca-cacao energy shake and an assortment of dosas in the morning, and kabocha squash dip and kitchari, an Ayurvedic recipe contributed by Deepak Chopra, in the afternoon. Though a dinner menu is still in the works, AbcV already boasts a wine list with over 60 offerings from France, Italy, Spain, California and Oregon—all of which were produced following the principles of biodynamic viticulture.—L.W.
In January, French-American chef Jean Joho’s iconic Chicago restaurant Everest rang in its 30th anniversary. A throwback menu from 1986 presented on Jan. 11 featured favorite dishes from the restaurant’s first year in business, such as black and white squid-ink risotto, Rossini-style prime beef tenderloin with truffle sauce, and crispy Alsace apple strudel. Dinners held Jan. 17 and 24 honored alums of Everest’s kitchen, including chef Thomas Lents—most recently of Chicago's Sixteen—and pastry chef Peter Scarola of Award of Excellence winner R2L in Philadelphia.
Everest, located on the 40th floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange building, has become a high-end standby in one of the country’s most fast-paced dining cities. Dishes such as roasted Maine lobster in Gewürztraminer butter, seared New York state foie gras and Mulard duck magret have become favorites on Joho’s menu; the chef's Alsace background is reflected in his cuisine. The wine list offers guests a choice of over 350 selections, emphasizing bottles from Bordeaux, Burgundy and the Rhône alongside California wines. The restaurant is part of Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises, a group with a bevy of Restaurant Award–winning wine lists, among them Best of Award of Excellence–winning locations of Joe’s Seafood, Prime Steak and Stone Crab in Chicago, Las Vegas and Washington, D.C.—S.H.
On April 30, chef and restaurateur Tom Colicchio will be closing Craftbar, the more casual sister restaurant to Best of Award of Excellence winner Craft. In a Twitter post from Feb. 3, Colicchio stated that his decision for the 15-year-old restaurant’s closure was primarily driven by the expiration of his current lease and increasing rents.
Located in the Flatiron District, the restaurant opened in 2002 and quickly gained recognition for its comfort cuisine, with dishes such as mushroom ragù with polenta, fried chicken with grits and braised greens, and roasted Duroc pork with sweet potato puree. For those wishing to go bid farewell, don't overlook the extensive wine list of reds and whites from Burgundy, Germany, Italy and California. Colicchio’s announcement comes in the midst of a newsworthy time for the restaurant group, just months after the September closure of Chelsea restaurant and former Best of Award of Excellence winner Colicchio & Sons, as well as the opening of Fowler & Wells in the Beekman Hotel in Lower Manhattan.—V.S.
After a four-year, $10 million renovation, Thomas Keller’s Grand Award winner the French Laundry served its first dinner service from its newly renovated kitchen on Feb. 18. Located in Yountville, Calif., Keller's Napa Valley restaurant had been operating out of a temporary kitchen since the end of 2014. Keller’s $310 tasting menu and colossal wine program have made the restaurant a wine-country travel destination; overseen by wine director Erik Johnson, the list spans 2,300 selections, with particularly strong choices from California, Burgundy, Bordeaux and the Rhône. In addition to the changes in the kitchen, the renovation will include a new wine cellar, to be unveiled late this spring.—V.S.