Odds that this story is featured on 14 Words With Tucker Carlson tonight?
Eleven Madison Park’s most iconic dishes — including the honey lavender duck, a torchon of foie gras served with maple syrup, and deconstructed milk-and-honey dessert course — will not be making a return when NYC’s top fine dining restaurant reopens for the first time since the pandemic crippled the city’s restaurant scene. After weeks of rumors swirling on social media and in food-obsessed circles, chef-owner Daniel Humm’s three Michelin-starred restaurant confirmed with National Public Radio this morning that it’s coming back on June 10 — with a 100 percent vegan menu.
EMP is reopening after the restaurant faced possible bankruptcy (Humm hinted to Bloomberg early on during the pandemic that the restaurant may never come back). But the fact that Humm, who has said in the past that his diet is 90 percent vegetarian, is transforming the acclaimed establishment inside the Met-Life Building into a vegan restaurant is unprecedented. No other white tablecloth restaurant of the same caliber in the city serves a menu that’s completely meat free, and of the 132 restaurants worldwide with three Michelin stars, none are vegan.
Humm pointed to the pandemic as big reason he decided to make the change, according to the latest episode of the How I Built This podcast with NPR’s Guy Raz. “And the way we have sourced our food, the way we’re consuming our food, the way we eat meat, it is not sustainable. And that is not an opinion. This is just a fact,” Humm said. “So we decided that our restaurant will be 100 percent plant-based.”
The details of the new menu are still forthcoming, but it will cost $335 per customer (including gratuity), according to a restaurant spokesperson. Eater has reached out to EMP and Humm for more details.
I’m already seeing a lot of negative talk about this in the IConsiderMyselfALiberalButWokeCultureHasGoneTooFarsphere. The obvious retort that the Market (blessed be its name) will decide whether this is or isn’t a good idea seems to have little purchase among people who suspect that all this social justice stuff just comes down to taking away their cheeseburgers, which may be the only fetish objects in American life more life more powerful than guns.