NYC Vegan Restaurant Caught with ‘Secret Meat Room’ for Elite Diners
Restaurant's dirty secret exposed by NYT
Ultra-exclusive vegan restaurant in New York, Eleven Madison Park, reportedly has a "secret meat room" for the wealthy elite customers who shell out extra for beef tenderloin instead of the "eggplant canoe" that's served to regular customers.
A New York Times review of the restaurant revealed the head chef/owner, Daniel Humm, is doing "strange things" with vegetables that don't always succeed.
It also exposed the restaurant's dirty secret, the menu is not all vegan, despite it advertising itself as only serving plant-based food because the "current food system is simply not sustainable, in so many ways."
The New York Times wrote:
"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."
The 12-course tasting menu cost diners $335.
Even the restaurant's desserts are vegan, though they do offer milk and honey for coffee and tea.
The New York Post obtained a menu from the restaurant's private room, which saw several types of meat available to private diners, including scallops, chicken, and canapes made from animal products, like gruyere cheese and foie gras.
Note: foie gras has been banned in several cities because the practice of cultivating geese for foie gras is cruel.
"Page Six has exclusively obtained the private dining room menu, which features dishes such as the highly controversial foie gras, beef carpaccio and butter-poached lobster with black truffle and celery root," the Post reported.
"A second restaurant source insisted the meat dishes were prepared in a separate kitchen from the vegan fare and claimed foie gras had not been on the private dining menu since the restaurant reopened as a plant-based venue," the Post said.
According to Eater NY, the restaurant claims it will be completely vegan by 2022.
Eleven Madison Park may face damage to its "woke" reputation following The New York Times expośe.
So far, Mr. Humm, who says he is a vegetarian, hasn't told us his objections to serving animal products if he has any. He seems to want us to think Eleven Madison Park is leading the restaurant business to a better place, but how are we supposed to believe that this isn't just another card trick when he hasn't expressed a real opinion?
Diners who don't eat animals for religious or moral reasons will probably welcome the new menu. Those whose chief concern is the environmental damage done by livestock farming may have less reason to celebrate. People tend to think of factory farms and feedlots when they hear about meat and sustainability. But Eleven Madison Park didn't buy industrial pork for its compressed brick of suckling pig. As the servers were always reminding you in the old days, the pork, eggs, cheese, and other animal products came from small, independent regional farms. Now, many of its vegetables are grown to order on farmland it leases in Hoosick, N.Y.
If every restaurant that supports sustainable local agriculture followed Mr. Humm's new path, those small farms would be in deep trouble. To name just one likely result, developers would be lining up at the barn door to make offers. Millions of acres of pasture and cultivated fields across the United States have been lost to suburbs, which produce half of the country's household carbon emissions.