The team at Eleven Madison Park is well known for high end dining, so when they set their sights on establishing a fast casual concept, I had high hopes. Thankfully, I was not disappointed. Made Nice has the elegance of a nice restaurant, with the speed of fast food. It’s the kind of place you can go to in sweaty workout clothes, but actually eat real food that won’t ruin the workout you just finished.
Here, high end healthy food is completely approachable. They even have healthy snacks (seasoned puffed rice) and mini indulgences (tiny cookie muffin thingies) to-go so you can just run in and out. It’s not necessarily the cheapest around (entrées are ~$15), but the quality is great and these elegant meals are miraculously ready in 10 minutes.
We started with some of their fun drinks – not alcoholic drinks, just fun things to guzzle. I love when a restaurant pays attention to the non-boozy sippables. Jourdan had a carbonated cold brew with hints of chocolate. It was weird to wrap my head around that one – coffee is not supposed to be fizzy – but after a second I realized it was quite tasty. I got a green tea with grapefruit, bay, and simple syrup that was lovely and refreshing.
For entrees, Jourdan had the salmon rosti (frisée, smoked salmon, soft-boiled egg, dill-caper relish, potato crouton, and buttermilk vinaigrette) that she loved. I’m not a big smoked salmon gal so I only had a taste of the potato crouton but now wonder why more salads don’t include these little hash brown cakes. I had the cod, served over hummus with regular and crispy chickpeas (loved those crispy guys), olives, and tomatoes. I was a big fan. It was very well executed and overall good on portion size, but I wish there was just a bit more cod.
In the end, it was ok that I had some extra hummus because I also ordered a side of the charred broccoli and it paired nicely with my chickpea puree. Jourdan also got a side – I didn’t try her grilled corn salad, but it looked yummy.
Finally, we split the milk and honey soft serve (which is definitely large enough to share). As Jourdan said, if you’re only going to have one dessert on the menu, you better make it good. And they did. The flavor of the fro yo itself was light and truly did taste like milk…kinda like cereal milk…but not so strong and sweet like Fruity Pebbles cereal milk…more like Honey Nut Cheerios cereal milk. The oat shortbread gave it a nice crunch, the meringue added unique texture, and I loved the saltiness the brittle brought to the table.
I didn’t realize I could enjoy healthy food so much. Just like Dorinda, I MADE IT NICE! (Sorry, RHONY reference…it will never get old.)