A Restaurant of Many Stars Raises the Ante

In the 14 years since it opened, Eleven Madison Park has slowly become one of the most elegant and esteemed restaurants in New York City. With its high ceilings and hushed grandeur, it feels like a sanctuary. Its sophisticated cooking and polished service have earned it three stars from Michelin, four from The New York Times and a recent jump into the top 10 of a much-watched list of the world’s best restaurants.

And now, at the height of their game, the owners are planning to throw out the formula.

Not long after Labor Day, this understated refuge on Madison Avenue will start treating diners to flashes of Broadway dazzle: card tricks, a glass dome full of smoke, a blast of sea mist from a tabletop clambake and a cheese course that emerges from a picnic basket placed on the table. It’s all part of a $195-a-head menu — and a risky move to convert the Eleven Madison Park experience into an extravagant, participatory, close-to-four-hour ode to the romance and history of New York.

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