Mmmmmm… the taste of Lemon Pledge and the aroma of a burning joint for dinner… Mmmmmmmmm.
The pot is wheeled out to your table, where a server smashes the clay with a ball-peen hammer. The beet is cleaned of pottery shards and transferred to a plate with a red-wine and beet-juice reduction that is oddly pungent in a way that may remind you of Worcestershire sauce.
They used to do a similar beet act at Agern, a New Nordic restaurant in Grand Central Terminal, roasting it inside a crust of salt and vegetable ash. That beet tasted like a beet, but more so. The one at Eleven Madison Park tastes like Lemon Pledge and smells like a burning joint.Restaurant Review: Eleven Madison Park’s Vegan Menu – The New York Times (nytimes.com)
The kicker is at the end where it is revealed that you can still have meat at this restaurant. But, it’s made more exclusive, and no doubt more expensive.
Eleven Madison Park still buys meat, though. Until the year ends, the menu offered to customers who book a private dining room includes an optional beef dish, roasted tenderloin with fermented peppers and black lime. It’s some kind of metaphor for Manhattan, where there’s always a higher level of luxury, a secret room where the rich eat roasted tenderloin while everybody else gets an eggplant canoe.Restaurant Review: Eleven Madison Park’s Vegan Menu – The New York Times (nytimes.com)