It seems that Daniel Humm, master chef behind the NoMad Restaurant and the acclaimed Eleven Madison Park, has a heart. After years of catering exclusively to the Platinum Amex set, he’s now given us hoi polloi the chance to try his grub at a reasonable price. To cut costs, he’s doing so at a counter service joint. But what’s loaded on that tray is extraordinary—pork shoulder braised to an elegant sweetness with citrus-infused quinoa and carrots of all colors of the rainbow; lettuce as crisp as an English accent, topped with perfectly roasted chicken, and, for crunch, crouton-like bits of chicken skin; creamy cauliflower curry; flaky garlic biscuits; chicken velouté; and more. Not surprisingly, there are lines out the door, and the perky dining room (with its Crayola-colored mural and shiny wooden tables) gets packed. But the line moves swiftly and Madison Square Park is just a block away, the perfect spot for a swank picnic.
- Pauline Frommer